Management of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients During Pregnancy (Analysis of Literature and Practical Recommendations)

EYu Chelysheva1, AG Turkina1, ES Polushkina2, MA Vinogradova2, RG Shmakov2

1 National Medical Hematology Research Center, 4a Novyi Zykovskii pr-d, Moscow, Russian Federation, 125167

2 VI Kulakov National Medical Research Center of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology, 4 Akademika Oparina str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 117997

For correspondence: Ekaterina Yur’evna Chelysheva, MD, PhD, 4a Novyi Zykovskii pr-d, Moscow, Russian Federation, 125167; Tel.: +7(495)612-48-60; e-mail:

For citation: Chelysheva EYu, Turkina AG, Polushkina ES, et al. Management of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients During Pregnancy (Analysis of Literature and Clinical Experience). Clinical oncohematology. 2019;12(2):202–10.

DOI: 10.21320/2500-2139-2019-12-2-202-210


Background. The tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) era is marked by a long-term favorable prognosis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). In this context CML patients of reproductive age are faced with major issues of family planning with due regard to the risk of TKI treatment interruption during pregnancy. Additionally, TKI impact is another potential risk to the fetus.

Aim. To develop differentiated approach to CML treatment during pregnancy.

Materials & Methods. Analysis includes literature data and clinical experience based on 166 pregnancies of 120 CML patients from CML Pregnancy Registry.

Results. Pregnancy planning is recommended after achieving stable and deep molecular response (with BCR-ABL > 0.01 %, IS) within the period of at least 2 years. At conception TKI therapy does not have to be interrupted. However, early pregnancy detection and TKI treatment interruption after pregnancy confirmation are of vital importance due to teratogenic risks. Furthermore, no TKI may be administered during organogenetic period, i.e. up to the 15th week of gestation. In the absence or loss of complete hematologic response and growth of BCR-ABL > 1 % after the 15th week of gestation imatinib or nilotinib administration is justified in the interest of pregnant patients taking into account limited transfer of these drugs through placenta. In the absence of complete hematologic response before the 15th week of gestation interferon-α can be administered. With BCR-ABL < 1 % patients can be either followed-up without therapy or they can receive interferon-α throughout pregnancy. Dasatinib, bosutinib, and other TKI are contraindicated at any stage of pregnancy. There are no special recommendations for childbirth, delivery is to be adapted to obstetric conditions. Breast feeding is not recommended because of the lack of practical evidence for its safety.

Conclusion. A regular molecular monitoring of BCR-ABL and hematologic status is indispensable, health condition of fetus should be continuously monitored as well. CML patient management should be conducted by cooperating hematologists and gynecologists.

Keywords: chronic myeloid leukemia, pregnancy, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, imatinib, nilotinib, dasatinib, bosutinib.

Received: January 9, 2019

Accepted: March 20, 2019

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