|Anticancer Drugs and Pregnancy|
When cancer occurs in pregnancy, there is frequently a conflict
between optimal maternal therapy and fetal well-being. In general, malignant
conditions during pregnancy are probably not associated with poor fetal
and perinatal outcomes when compared to non-pregnant women.
However, there is sparse data on children's higher order
brain functioning following in utero exposure to maternal cancer and its
associated treatment. The literature has mainly focused on the structural
observations made very close to the time of delivery and suggests that
exposure to antineoplastic (anticancer) medications after the
first trimester does not pose an increased
risk. However, since brain development occurs throughout gestation, exposure
in later pregnancy may result in neurodevelopmental consequences.
Chemotherapeutic agents and/or radiation are known teratogens.
The developing embryo and fetus are extremely sensitive to ionizing radiation
53 used in radiation therapy and the human brain seems to be the most
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
Motherisk, The Hospital for Sick Children: