Pregnancy outcome in patients treated for hodgkin's disease

Joseph Aisner, Peter H. Wiernik, Paula Pearl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study attempted to determine the outcome of pregnancies in patients (or their partners) who were successfully treated for Hodgkin's disease and to assess the effect of treatment on the children of the treated parents. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to and personal interviews were conducted with patients who were of reproductive age at the time of treatment with consecutive protocols of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or both. Those premenopausol patients (or the sexual partners of patients) who attempted to conceive after successful treatment constituted the study population. Fertility assessment was based only on those patients identified as desiring children. Results: Among 391 adult patients, 221 patients (104 females and 117 males) of reproductive age were interviewed. Before treatment, 63 of the 221 patients had 135 pregnancies, which resulted in 118 children, 11 spontaneous abortions, five elective abortions, and one stillborn. After treatment, 94 patients (43 females and 51 males) actively attempted conception; 35 females and 25 partners of male patients had 84 pregnancies, which resulted in 68 living children. Among the 84 pregnancies, there were one premature birth at 29 weeks, three spontaneous abortions, 11 elective abortions, and two stillborn: one at 32 weeks and one set of twins. The children have been observed for a median of 11 years (minimum follow up > 4.5 years). Of those patients who desired children, 35 of 43 females became pregnant, whereas only 25 of the 51 partners of male patients became pregnant. At least five male patients with low sperm counts apparently fathered children. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that both men and women have the potential for fertility after treatment regardless of treatment modality. The partners of male patients who were treated with combined modality treatment had a lower frequency of pregnancy than did the female patients who attempted conception and their frequency of pregnancy also was lower than the general population. There was no apparent increase in complications of pregnancy, spontaneous abortions, or congenital abnormalities after treatment compared with pregnancies in this patient group before treatment or with pregnancies in the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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