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Clinical challenges of glioma and pregnancy: a systematic review

Research paper by A. van Westrhenen, J. T. Senders, E. Martin, A. C. DiRisio, M. L. D. Broekman

Indexed on: 06 Apr '18Published on: 06 Apr '18Published in: Journal of Neuro-Oncology



Abstract

This review aims to summarize challenges in clinical management of concomitant gliomas and pregnancy and provides suggestions for this management based on current literature.PubMed and Embase databases were systematically searched for studies on glioma and pregnancy. Observational studies and articles describing expert opinions on clinical management were included. The strength of evidence was categorized as arguments from observational studies, consensus in expert opinions, or single expert opinions. Risk of bias was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS).27 studies were selected, including 316 patients with newly diagnosed (n = 202) and known (n = 114) gliomas during pregnancy. The median sample size was 6 (range 1–65, interquartile range 1–9). Few recommendations originated from observational studies; the remaining arguments originated from consensus in expert opinions.Findings from observational studies of adequate quality include (1) There is no known effect of pregnancy on survival in low-grade glioma patients; (2) Pregnancy can provoke clinical deterioration and tumor growth on MRI; (3) In stable women at term, there is no benefit of cesarean section over vaginal delivery, with respect to adverse events in mother or child. Unanswered questions include when pregnancy should be discouraged, what best monitoring schedule is for both mother and fetus, and if and how chemo- and radiation therapy can be safely administered during pregnancy. A multicenter individual patient level meta-analysis collecting granular information on clinical management and related outcomes is needed to provide scientific evidence for clinical decision-making in pregnant glioma patients.

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