CancerNetwork presents exclusive coverage from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting. Check back for an interview with Andrew Evens, DO, MSc, on the oral abstract he's presenting at the meeting called "Lymphoma in Pregnancy: Excellent Fetal Outcomes and Maternal Survival in a Large Multicenter Analysis." Dr. Evens is the deputy director for clinical and translational research and medical director of the Clinical Research Office at the UMass Memorial Health Care Cancer Center of Excellence.
Dr. Andrew Evens
CANCERNETWORK: Can you start by telling our audience a little about the study?
DR. EVENS: Yes. It was a retrospective study, as this is somewhat of a rare entity—not that lymphoma is rare, it’s approximately the sixth-most common cancer, but its actual occurrance during a pregnancy is relatively uncommon. Cancer of any type occurs in approximately 1 in every 1,000 gestations, or pregnancies, but of course there are many thousands of pregnancies that occur every year in the US. This means that each year in the US approximately 3,000 to 3,500 pregnant women will have some form of a cancer diagnosed. The most commonly diagnosed cancer is breast, but the second-most common is a hematologic malignancy, of which lymphoma is the most common.
When you distill it down to just lymphoma, there are probably a couple hundred cases diagnosed during pregnancy in a year. I’m a lymphoma specialist at UMass; we’re a relatively tight-knit community across the US and we all deal with this. We might have a handful of these in total—a couple of cases a year. However, when it’s a rare entity, there’s not as much published data in the literature to guide us even as specialists, much less for physicians out in the community when they see these cases. For this reasons, there were 10 different centers that came together at the same time and said, Can we put together our collective experiences and try to help guide, not only ourselves, but treating oncologists across the world?
Click here to read more from our interview with Dr. Evens.