Lung cancer in pregnancy: report of nine cases from an international collaborative study

Lung Cancer. 2013 Dec;82(3):499-505. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2013.09.002. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Objective: Lung cancer is an uncommon diagnosis during pregnancy. The combination of smoking in young women, increased maternal age during pregnancy, and increasing incidence of lung cancer worldwide may cause an increase of pregnancy associated lung cancer. The aim of this study was to describe all cases of lung cancer during pregnancy, registered in the international Cancer in Pregnancy registration study (CIP study;

Materials and methods: We present nine cases, all advanced lung cancer during the course of pregnancy. Collected data included demographic features of the study patients, cancer treatment, pregnancy outcome as well as maternal and fetal outcomes.

Results and conclusion: Nine pregnant patients from 4 European centres with a median age of 33 years old (range, 26-42) were included. The median gestational age at diagnosis was 17 weeks (range, 6-28). All patients presented with metastatic disease including bone, lung, brain, spinal cord, pleura, lymph nodes, adrenal and liver. Histopathology was compatible with adenocarcinoma in 4 patients, non-small cell lung cancer with unidentified subtype in 2 patients and squamous-cell, large-cell and a poorly differentiated carcinoma in 3 patients, respectively. Eight patients were treated with systemic therapy, five of them during gestation. No responses were seen. The maternal postpartum outcome was poor with less than one year survival following delivery. One patient experienced a spontaneous abortion and three pregnancies were terminated. Five infants were all born premature due to poor maternal status by cesarean section, with a median gestational age of 30 weeks (range 26-33). To summarize, lung cancer in pregnancy has a dismal maternal outcome in our series. We add nine new cases and discuss both therapeutic and prognostic results.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Gestation; Lung cancer; Maternal and fetal outcome; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / complications
  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adult
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / mortality
  • Premature Birth / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis