Hematologic Malignancies in Pregnancy: Management Guidelines From an International Consensus Meeting

J Clin Oncol. 2016 Feb 10;34(5):501-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.62.4445. Epub 2015 Nov 30.


Purpose: The incidence of hematologic malignancies during pregnancy is 0.02%. However, this figure is increasing, as women delay conception until a later age. Systemic symptoms attributed to the development of a hematologic cancer may overlap with physiologic changes of pregnancy. A favorable prognosis is contingent upon early diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, a high index of suspicion is required by health care providers. Although timely, accurate diagnosis followed by appropriate staging is essential and should not be delayed due to pregnancy, management guidelines are lacking due to insufficient evidence-based research. Consequently, treatment is delayed, posing significant risks to maternal and fetal health, and potential pregnancy termination. This report provides guidelines for clinical management of hematologic cancers during the perinatal period, which were developed by a multidisciplinary team including an experienced hematologist/oncologist, a high-risk obstetrics specialist, a neonatologist, and experienced nurses, social workers, and psychologists.

Methods: These guidelines were developed by experts in the field during the first International Consensus Meeting of Prenatal Hematologic Malignancies, which took place in Leuven, Belgium, on May 23, 2014.

Results and conclusion: This consensus summary equips health care professionals with novel diagnostic and treatment methodologies that aim for optimal treatment of the mother, while protecting fetal and pediatric health.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / therapy*
  • Prognosis