Study Offers Support for Cancer Treatment During Pregnancy

News Brief by Ted Midthun

      There is good news for pregnant women who are diagnosed with cancer. They may now be able to start treatment while they are still pregnant, instead of waiting until the baby is born or instead of having to end the pregnancy.  Dr. Frédéric Amant, who lead the study, found it is unnecessary for mothers to terminate, or early induce pregnancies, to be able to begin cancer treatment. The study took more than 100 children who were exposed to cancer treatment in the last two trimesters of pregnancy and compared their cognitive and cardiac function with those that did not get treatment during pregnancy. Dr. Amant’s team found there was no difference in those children who had been exposed to cancer treatment to those who did not. The study also found that the cognitive and cardiac functions did differ, if the pregnancy was early. The higher degree of prematurity, the worse the cognitive outcome in both groups, regardless of cancer treatment. This is very important, as most mothers who are diagnosed are advised by doctors to either have a premature birth, so the treatment will not hurt the child, or delay treatment themselves until the child is born. The study however, did have limits. The number of tested participants was not very large, and not all chemotherapy drugs were studied. Also chemotherapy in the mothers that did have cancer did not start until the second trimester, due to the risk of serious birth defects. Nonetheless, this study is a light at the end of the tunnel for an issue that is difficult for many.

Louis, C. (2015, September 28). Study Offers Support for Cancer Treatment During Pregnancy.    Retrieved October 3, 2015.