Pregnancy Outcomes in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: A Single Center Experience

J Glob Oncol. 2019 Sep:5:1-11. doi: 10.1200/JGO.18.00211.


Purpose: The aim of the current work was to report the effect of imatinib on pregnancy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

Methods: Data were collected between January 1998 and December 2014. One hundred four patients met inclusion criteria, and we report the results of 104 pregnancies-conceived by the participant or partner-while being on imatinib therapy for CML.

Results: Fifty-eight patients were male and 46 were female. Eighty-three patients, 20 patients, and one patient were had CML in the chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase, respectively. Of 46 female patients, 21 underwent abortion (spontaneous, n = 36.9; elective termination, n = 8.6%). In the case of full-term pregnancy in the female partners of male patients with CML, all outcomes were uneventful. Of 46 female patients, 25 had full-term pregnancy outcomes. During the pre-imatinib era (total n = 6), patients were treated with hydroxyurea, interferon-alpha, and therapeutic leukapheresis. A total 10 of 19 pregnant patients continued on imatinib until their delivery and experienced the following outcomes: normal full-term deliveries (n = 7), preterm delivery (n = 1), omphalocele (n = 1), and craniosynostosis (n = 1). Of those who discontinued imatinib after counseling (n = 9), eight patients had full-term normal delivery, of which two patients required leukapheresis and one patient expired. All patients who continued on imatinib while pregnant were in complete cytogenetic response and major molecular response (MMR) before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and postpregnancy. Of nine patients who discontinued imatinib, two lost MMR during the third trimester and all of these patients were in complete cytogenetic response and MMR before pregnancy.

Conclusion: It is clear that there is no standard of care for the best treatment of CML in the case of pregnancy. Interferon and/or leukapheresis will be included as treatment options. Patients can have normal pregnancies even with the administration of imatinib at the risk of congenital anomalies, intervention for which can be done after birth.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult