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Cancer in Pregnancy: Fetal and Neonatal Outcomes

BACKES, CARL H. MD; MOOREHEAD, PAMELA A. BS; NELIN, LEIF D. MD

Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology: December 2011 - Volume 54 - Issue 4 - p 574–590
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e318236e8d9
Cancer In Pregnancy

Cancer during pregnancy represents a potential conflict between optimal maternal treatment and fetal development. Traditionally, clinicians operated under the assumption that cancer treatment during pregnancy is incompatible with normal fetal development. However, recent evidence suggests that many diagnostic and treatment modalities cause little or no harm to the developing fetus. As such, both maternal and neonatal interests should be considered when developing management strategies for pregnant cancer patients. In this review, we will discuss issues related to fetal and neonatal health associated with conventional diagnostic and treatment approaches in the care of pregnant women with cancer. In addition, we offer recommendations on strategies to maximize fetal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by cancer.

Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Center for Perinatal Research, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Correspondence: Carl H. Backes, MD, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, N118 Doan Hall, 410W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1228. E-mail: carl.backes@nationwidechildrens.com

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.