Cancer in pregnancy: treatment effects

Melissa McGettigan, Kerry Thomas, Amita Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Pregnant patients present a unique challenge to cancer therapy. Due to the potential catastrophic implications related to teratogenic effects or pregnancy loss, oncologic management of this vulnerable patient group must be strategic and personalized. Methods: This article will discuss the unique treatment approach to the pregnant cancer patient. This includes discussion of the role of imaging during staging, treatment, and follow-up with an emphasis on avoiding ionizing radiation when possible. Results and Conclusion: Specific considerations and modifications to standard cancer treatments, including surgery and systemic therapies such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted and hormone therapies are crucial components of providing oncologic care to minimize negative effects to the mother and developing fetus. Radiation and proton therapy are also options that may be employed in specific circumstances. Finally, this article will address the long-term treatment effects of these therapies on future fertility. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
JournalAbdominal Radiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Cancer
  • Gestational age
  • Pregnancy
  • Teratogenic effects


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