Close monitoring and intensive research into relapsed/refractory lymphoma cases among pregnant patients is essential, according to an international real-world analysis published in Blood Advances.

There are few data regarding the presentation and management of these patients, as well as maternal and fetal outcomes in the relapsed/refractory lymphoma setting. For this comprehensive real-world analysis, researchers evaluated clinical data from pregnant women diagnosed with lymphoma between 1989 and 2021.

Overall, data from 23 patients were included. In the cohort, 78% of patients had Hodgkin lymphoma, the median age at relapse was 31 (range, 21-35), the most common stage at disease relapse was II (44%), and 39% of patients had anemia.

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During pregnancy, 4 patients had a termination or spontaneous abortion, which occurred at a median gestation of 8 weeks. There were 2 of these patients who had conceived in the first trimester while receiving aggressive multi-agent chemotherapy.

A total of 14 patients deferred treatment until post-partum whereas 5 patients received therapy while pregnant. There were 9 patients who received stem cell transplantation.

The median follow-up was 37 months. Analysis showed that there were live births in 83% of cases, elective abortions in 13%, and a spontaneous abortion in 4%. The median gestational age on delivery was 36 weeks (range, 26-39). No fetal malformations were noted, although 11% of the babies were small for their gestational age.

Among mothers, the 3-year progression-free survival and overall survival rates in the overall cohort were 24% (95% CI, 5.8-48.5) and 83% (95% CI, 48.2-95.6), respectively; among patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma, these figures were 0% and 71% (95% CI, 25.8-92.0).

“Continued emphasis towards the importance of term birth for pregnancies complicated by cancer is needed and research of these uncommon and complex cancer cases is warranted,” the authors wrote in their report.

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Farooq F, Brandt JS, Cardonick E, et al. An international real-world analysis of relapsed/refractory lymphoma occurring during pregnancy. Blood Adv. Published online June 1, 2023. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2023010090