Intended for healthcare professionals


Study finds that chemotherapy during pregnancy appears to be safe for babies

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 16 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5556
  1. Sophie Wedgwood
  1. 1London

Babies of women who had chemotherapy for breast cancer while pregnant had no more major complications than those whose mothers had no medical intervention, a study has found.

The study, published in Lancet Oncology,1 examined a group of more than 400 pregnant women from across Europe who had early stage breast cancer. Altogether 197 (48%) of the women had chemotherapy during the pregnancy, and the health of all the babies was reviewed at birth and up to four weeks after delivery.

The investigators found that babies whose mothers had chemotherapy while pregnant had, on average, a lower birth weight than those whose mothers were not treated with chemotherapy. But height, Apgar scores, haemoglobin concentration, leucocyte and …

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