Shapira, T., Pereg, D., Lishner, M. (2008). How I treat acute and chronic leukemia in pregnancy. Blood Reviews, 22: 247-259.
The article, how I treat acute and chronic leukemia in pregnancy, is a very interesting and complex article about the different methods of therapies and drugs that can be used to help treat leukemia and to help both, the mother and fetus, get through the pregnancy safely. Pregnancy is very complex and challenging for a woman; however, when leukemia is involved, the complications increase significantly. When the cancer is present in pregnancy, the chances of fetal malformations and even death become a challenge for the mother and the physician as well. The mother would have to decide whether she wants to continue or terminate the pregnancy during the first trimester. Although there many drugs that can treat- not cure because cancer cannot be cured so far- the leukemia, it is extremely important for the mother to consider pregnancy termination at an early stage. In any case that the mother wishes to continue the pregnancy, considering the outcome possibilities, the mother would be treated with an anti-cancer drug and she and the fetus would be closely monitored. Normally, if the patient is diagnosed with the disease later on in pregnancy, it is not mandatory to terminate the pregnancy but if it is otherwise, then pregnancy termination is advised.
There are many types of leukemia such as: acute leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic myelogenous leukemia, etc. All types of leukemia can present a real challenge throughout the pregnancy. Some of the treatments during pregnancy may be delayed until after birth while others must be treated immediately after the diagnosis. The treatments that is available for the cancer varies among each patient. While some are treated with interferon, the most preferred...