Lung cancer in the pregnant woman: To treat or not to treat, that is the question

Hatem A. Azim, Fedro A. Peccatori, Nicholas Pavlidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung cancer in pregnancy is a rare situation; however, it is increasingly reported in the past two decades. The association might be more encountered in the coming years due to the rising trends of cigarette smoking among young women and tendency to delay pregnancy to later in life. We performed a literature search without any date or language restriction and identified 44 cases diagnosed and/or treated for lung cancer during the course of pregnancy. Patients had poor post-partum outcome with less than one-forth alive at 1 year following delivery. There was a high incidence of metastases to the products of conception reaching 26%. Eight patients were treated with systemic therapies during the course of gestation with normal fetal outcome and no evidence of fetal or placental metastases. Counseling of these patients is very important. Apart from the clinical conflict they pose, some ethical aspects should be taken in consideration. The poor maternal prognosis should be discussed and the patient's autonomy should be respected to decide whether she wants to keep the pregnancy or not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Chemotherapy
  • Ethical conflict
  • Fetal metastases
  • Gestation
  • Lung cancer in pregnancy
  • Placental metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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