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Pregnant and DH has been on cancer treatments

(7 Posts)
Boosiehs Tue 07-Jul-15 11:10:34

Does anyone have any experience of this? I am 11 weeks in - a little unplanned if I am honest but very happy.

Dh has been on various treatments for melanoma, I'm worried that something might have affected things leading to chromosomal damage.


Scan in 2 weeks....

Skiptonlass Tue 07-Jul-15 11:40:40

Hi. it very much depends on what he was treated with. Some drugs have a higher infertility risk than others (what was he treated with if you don't mind me asking?)

Since you're pregnant (congratulations) he isn't infertile, which is the biggest risk with chemo. Most chemo treatments attack fast dividing cells - that includes the progenitors to sperm, which results in lowered sperm count while treatment us progressing and for a few months/to years after. The big risk is knocking out all those stem cells - your pregnancy indicates this hasn't happened so that's one big positive!

Assuming he's been off the treatment for a few months (is that correct?) it's likely his sperm count has bounced back. I'm not 100% sure but I think I remember reading a study a while back that indicated that there was no statistical effect on chromosomal abnormalities in children of cancer survivors. Let me have a look through the literature if I have a moment today and I'll get back to you later.

My gut feeling (highly unscientific) is that infertility is the biggest potential hurdle. You've overcome that so unless you conceived during or very shortly after treatment, I don't think you're at any higher risk.

Congratulations to the both of you - melanoma is an absolute bastard.

youlemming Tue 07-Jul-15 13:13:39

I would see if you can get in touch with the consultant he has been under for the treatment as they would have the best info to if there are any potential risks and if you need any additional monitoring.
Also make sure it's noted with your midwife, they will generally ask about certain medical conditions within the parents or immediate family.

Congratuations, it must be a lovely bit of good news for you both.

Boosiehs Tue 07-Jul-15 16:36:19

thanks both. He's actually still having treatment at the moment. The cancer isn't going away, just held in check for as long as we can. skipton you're right - its an absolute fucker.

he's on immunotherapy at the moment, pembrolizumab. He was on ipilimumab before that (only 2 doses - didn't agree with him) and on vemurafenib before that.

Its really the vemurafenib I'm worried about. Although he stopped that in June last year.

I should suck it up and speak to his consultant....

Already spoken to MW - very helpful and supportive. She has put me on consultant care (already a few reasons for that anyway), and in touch with a genetic counsellor. Scans and bloods next.

Skiptonlass Tue 07-Jul-15 17:19:01

I used to work on a trial for verumafanib smile

There's not much data on pregnancies about that whole class of drugs to be honest. They're very new, and they're very strict about contraception on all the trials I've worked (not because of anything specific about this drug, that's just how trials are.)

Couple of studies that show that pregnancies started by young men have no greater risk than others but I think it was a small sample. Anyway, they're not genotoxic on the way "standard" chemo is.

I found that bit before the 13 week testing the most nerve wracking part - I hope you'll have good news and strongly suspect his consultant is going to say that they'll monitor you but they don't have specific's more that these drugs are so new, there just isn't enough data. Definitely speak to the consultant though, and the counsellor. I would certainly use condoms even though you've conceived as well - no idea if it gets into seminal fluid but if it does you don't want to be exposed to it.

Wishing you all the best smile

Rose58 Tue 07-Jul-15 21:59:51

Sending you lots of love and luck. Congratulations!! Xx

Boosiehs Wed 08-Jul-15 09:12:35

Thank you all so much. Feeling a bit teary!

skipton yes that is what we though - we did mention conception to the oncologist last year and he seemed reasonably positive.

There's not really enough data on the actual patients yet (only 10 yrs or so), so lord only knows about this situation! I have a feeling I might be a footnote in a paper somewhere in a few years time.

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