Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a very common hematological disease that usually affects elderly people. Cases of CLL appearing alongside pregnancy are very rare. The latest case report published in 'ecancermedicalscience' describes the case of a woman who had the double burdens of chronic leukemia and an unplanned pregnancy.
The 36-year-old patient had finished a course of treatment for her CLL when she became unintentionally pregnant. Despite the threat of disease progression, she wished to continue her pregnancy.
‘In a rare case, a 36-year-old woman with chronic lymphocytic leukemia had an unintentional pregnancy and went ahead to deliver a healthy baby girl. During the course of pregnancy, a multidisciplinary team used the best treatment for the mother without endangering the fetus.’
Dr. Fedro Peccatori of the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy, said, "Our report is unique as it raises awareness about this rare situation and the reproductive issues faced by these patients. Contraception is of utmost importance during oncological treatments and also after treatment, if patients are not interested in having children."
Dr. Peccatori further added, "Pregnancy may be successfully pursued during CLL, but the possible influences of the disease on pregnancy and of pregnancy on CLL progression should be thoroughly discussed with the patient. When facing such a difficult situation it is mandatory to plan clinical management within a multidisciplinary team, respecting the patient's autonomy and using the best treatment for the mother without endangering the fetus. This gives hope to CLL patients - even if they have a chronic disease, they can give birth, but cases are still very few and caution is mandatory. These take-home messages are key for doctors and patients - but our reporters wanted to know what happened to the baby."
The patient had a medically induced-labor with a healthy delivery on Nov 15, 2014. Dr. Peccatori said, "The baby girl was of appropriate weight for gestational age and was breastfed for 11 months, and has not encountered any particular health issues in her first year of life."