The effect of early pregnancy following chemotherapy on disease relapse and foetal outcome in women treated for gestational trophoblastic tumours.
Blagden SP., Foskett MA., Fisher RA., Short D., Fuller S., Newlands ES., Seckl MJ.
Little literature exists on the safety of early pregnancy following chemotherapy. Here we assess the rate of relapse and foetal outcome in women who have completed single and multi-agent chemotherapy for gestational trophoblastic tumours. The records of 1532 patients treated for persistent gestational trophoblastic tumours at Charing Cross Hospital between 1969 and 1998 were reviewed. Patients were defined as receiving single agent or multi-agent treatment. Relapse rates and foetal outcome were reviewed in the 230 patients who became pregnant within 12 months of completing chemotherapy. In the single agent group 153 (22%) of 691 patients conceived early. Three subsequently relapsed. In the multi-agent group, 77 (10%) of 779 patients conceived early, two then relapsed. Relapse rates were 2% (3 out of 153) and 2.5% (2 out of 77) for each group compared to 5% and 5.6% in the comparative non-pregnant groups. Outcomes of 230 early pregnancies: 164 (71%) delivered at full term, 35 (15%) terminations, 26 (11%) spontaneous abortions, three (1.3%) new hydatidiform moles and two (1%) stillbirths. Early pregnancies were more common in the single agent group (P<0.001), but spontaneous miscarriages and terminations were more likely to occur in the multi-agent group (P=0.04 and 0.03, respectively). Of the full-term pregnancies, three (1.8%) babies were born with congenital abnormalities. Patients in either group who conceive within 12 months of completing chemotherapy are not at increased risk of relapse. Though, we still advise avoiding pregnancy within 12 months of completing chemotherapy, those that do conceive can be reassured of a likely favourable outcome. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600041 www.bjcancer.comCopyright 2002 The Cancer Research Campaign