Lymphoma Occurring During Pregnancy: Current Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches

Mansi R. Shah, Justin S. Brandt, Kevin A. David, Andrew M. Evens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Pregnancy-associated lymphoma (PAL) is an uncommon entity that lacks detailed prospective data. It poses significant management challenges that incorporate maternal and fetal risks associated with treatment or delayed intervention. Herein, we review the current literature for the diagnosis, management, and supportive care strategies for PAL. Recent Findings: Establishment of a multidisciplinary team, including hematology-oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, and neonatology, is critical in the management of PAL. For staging, ultrasound and MRI are preferred modalities with use of computerized tomography in select situations. Data for the safety and effectiveness of therapy for PAL is largely based on retrospective studies. The timing of lymphoma-directed antenatal systemic therapy depends on the trimester, gestational age, lymphoma subtype and aggressiveness, and patient wishes. Therapy in the first trimester is usually not advocated, while treatment in the second and third trimesters appears to result in similar outcomes for PAL compared with non-pregnant patients with lymphoma. An overarching goal in most PAL cases should be to plan for delivery at term (i.e., gestational age > 37 weeks). For supportive care, most antiemetics, including agents such as neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists, have been used safely during pregnancy. For prevention or treatment of infections, particular antibiotics (i.e., macrolides, cephalosporins, penicillins, metronidazole), antivirals (i.e., acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir), and antifungals (amphotericin B) have demonstrated safety and with use of growth factors reserved for treatment of neutropenia (vs. primary prophylaxis). Summary: Therapy for PAL should be individualized with goals of care that balance maternal and fetal well-being, which should include a multidisciplinary care team and overall intent for term delivery in most cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113
JournalCurrent oncology reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


  • Cancer
  • Fetal complications
  • Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
  • Maternal outcomes
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
  • Pregnancy


Dive into the research topics of 'Lymphoma Occurring During Pregnancy: Current Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this