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January 9, 1967

Busulfan Treatment of Leukemia During Pregnancy: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine (Division of Hematology) (Dr. Dugdale) and obstetrics-gynecology (Dr. Fort), University of Tennessee College of Medicine and City of Memphis Hospitals.

JAMA. 1967;199(2):131-133. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120020125032

WHEN PREGNANCY occurs in a patient with leukemia, a difficult therapeutic problem is presented to the physician. Almost invariably it is necessary to treat the patient with antileukemic drugs during the course of the pregnancy. The drugs commonly used in the therapy of the leukemias are potent cytotoxic agents. Does their use endanger the fetus? In experimental animals, these drugs cross the placental barrier and cause varying degrees of damage to the fetus.1 Their effect on the human fetus, however, is less clearly defined. Case reports of leukemic patients treated during pregnancy are often difficult to evaluate since multiple drugs were used. Only in those instances where a single agent was used can we obtain information regarding its specific effect on the pregnancy or the health and development of the fetus. We wish to report such a case in which busulfan (Myleran) was the sole form of therapy throughout