National Cancer Institute
Last Modified: August 23, 2007
Note: A separate PDQ® summary on Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment is also available.
Since non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) occur in an older patient population than Hodgkin lymphoma, this may account for fewer reports of NHL patients with coexisting pregnancy. 1
Magnetic resonance imaging is the preferred tool for staging evaluation to avoid exposure to ionizing radiation. 1
Most non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are aggressive and delay of therapy until after delivery appears to have poor outcomes according to anecdotal case series. 1 2 3 4 Consequently, some investigators favor immediate therapy, even during pregnancy. 4
Children exposed to high-dose doxorubicin-containing combination chemotherapy in utero (especially during the second and third trimester) have been found to be normal subsequently, with follow-up ranging from several months to 11 years. 4 5 6 7 There are no data regarding long-term effects on children exposed in utero for most of the chemotherapeutic agents used for treatment of NHL.
Termination of pregnancy in the first trimester may be an option to allow therapy for women with aggressive NHL. For some women, early delivery when feasible may minimize or avoid exposure to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Treatment may be delayed for those women with an indolent NHL.
The designations in PDQ® that treatments are standard or under clinical evaluation are not to be used as a basis for reimbursement determinations.
The PDQ® cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.
Editorial changes were made to this summary.
This information is intended mainly for use by doctors and other health care professionals. If you have questions about this topic, you can ask your doctor, or call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).