Background: Outcomes for mother and child following a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma during pregnancy are underinvestigated, and antenatal management of the disease has not been reported on widely. The aim of this study was to assess obstetric outcomes, antenatal management, and maternal survival in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed during pregnancy who were registered in the International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy (INCIP) database.
Methods: We did a multicentre, retrospective cohort study including oncological and obstetric data from 134 pregnant patients diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma between Jan 1, 1969, and Aug 1, 2018. Data collected from the INCIP database were obtained from 17 academic centres in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Israel, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, the UK, and the USA. We analysed patients' management over three epochs (before 1995, 1995-2004, and 2005-18). Obstetric outcomes (birthweight, obstetric or neonatal complications, and admission to a neonatal intensive care unit [NICU]) of patients who received antenatal chemotherapy were compared to those of patients who did not receive antenatal treatment. Maternal progression-free and overall survival was assessed by disease stage at diagnosis in pregnant patients and compared with outcomes of non-pregnant patients with Hodgkin lymphoma selected from databases of three tertiary centres, matched for stage and prognostic score. All patients included in survival analyses received standard doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazone (ABVD) therapy since Jan 1, 1997.
Findings: Of the 134 pregnant patients diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma during pregnancy. 72 (54%) patients initiated antenatal chemotherapy, 56 (42%) did not receive treatment during pregnancy, and 6 (4%) received only radiotherapy. Over the years, chemotherapy was increasingly commenced during pregnancy. The incidence of neonates who were small for gestational age did not differ between chemotherapy-exposed neonates (15 [22%] of 69) and non-exposed neonates (six [16%] of 42; p=0·455). Admission to NICU also did not differ between groups (19 [29%] exposed to antenatal chemotherapy vs 12 [35%] unexposed to antenatal chemotherapy). Birthweight percentiles were lower in neonates prenatally exposed to chemotherapy compared with non-exposed neonates (p=0·035). Patients receiving antenatal therapy had more obstetric complications than those without antenatal therapy (p=0·005), the most common complications being preterm contractions (nine [12%] vs three [7%]) and preterm rupture of membranes (four [5%] vs 0). For the maternal survival analyses, we compared 77 pregnant patients and 211 non-pregnant, matched controls. 5-year progression-free survival for patients with early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma was 82·6% (95% CI 67·4-91·1) for 62 pregnant patients and 88·3% (81·6-92·7) for 142 controls (hazard ratio [HR] 1·80, 95% CI 0·84-3·87; p=0·130; 5-year overall survival was 97·3% (82·3-99·6) and 98·4% (93·6-99·6; HR 1·63, 0·35-7·65; p=0·534). In patients with advanced-stage disease (15 pregnant patients and 69 non-pregnant controls), 5-year progression-free survival was 90·9% (95% CI 50·8-98·7) versus 74·0% (60·9-83·3); HR 0·36, 95% CI 0·04-2·90; p=0·334. 5-year overall survival was 100% (no events occurred) and 96·2% (95% CI 85·5-99·1; HR cannot be estimated; p=0·146).
Interpretation: Occurrence of preterm contractions or preterm rupture of membranes was higher in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma receiving antenatal treatment compared with those who did not initiate treatment during pregnancy. Maternal survival did not differ between pregnant and non-pregnant patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, suggesting that antenatal chemotherapy or deferral of treatment until postpartum in selected patients can be considered, with regular obstetric follow-up to safeguard foetal growth.
Funding: European Research Council, Research foundation Flanders, and Charles University Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.
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