Reproductive organ involvement in non-Hodgkin lymphoma during pregnancy: A systematic review

Netanel A. Horowitz, Noam Benyamini, Kristina Wohlfart, Benjamin Brenner, Irit Avivi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Data for pregnancy-associated non-Hodgkin lymphoma are limited to case reports, making it difficult to define this disorder. We did a systematic search for articles published between 1967 and 2011 with the aim to determine the characteristics, management, and outcome of pregnancy-associated non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We identified 121 patients from 74 papers. Most patients with stage information available presented with stage IV disease (75%, 82 of 108 patients). Patients were classified into three clinical groups; those with indolent lymphomas accounted for 5% (five of 108), aggressive lymphomas (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and T-cell lymphomas) made up 48% of patients (52 of 108), and highly aggressive lymphomas (Burkitt's lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and unspecified highly aggressive lymphomas) accounted for 47% of patients (51 of 108). Reproductive organ involvement (breast, ovary, uterus, placenta) was reported in 49% of 110 patients with information available on extranodal involvement, and prevailed in endemic Burkitt's lymphoma (100%, 19 of 19), followed by non-endemic Burkitt lymphoma (70%, 14 of 20), immunoblastic lymphoma (67%, two of three), peripheral T-cell lymphoma (46%, six of 13), and indolent (40%, two of five) and diffuse large cell lymphoma (23%, nine of 40). Most patients received antepartum (45%, 55 of 121) or postpartum therapy (45%, 54 of 121), resulting in 6-month survival of 53% for mothers and a livebirth rate of 83%. Pregnancy-associated non-Hodgkin lymphoma has unique clinical characteristics with frequent reproductive organ involvement. Collaborative prospective studies are needed to further characterise pathophysiological and clinical aspects of this complication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e275-e282
JournalThe Lancet Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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