Is pregnancy for me?, is a common question among GIST patients. At present there isn’t a lot of data on pregnancy and GIST. The prescription information on Gleevec clearly warns of risks if a woman stays on Gleevec during pregnancy and advises patients to use a form of birth control. A recent abstract was released by PubMed that talks about pregnancy outcomes in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Here is a portion of the report:
Among females patients, 19 (67.9%) pregnancies were uneventful while 6 (21.4%) ended in adverse-events. Only 12 (57%) females reported their pregnancy. Three (4.4%) adverse-events were reported from male patients. Pregnancy is an important part of life in our young patients due to cultural and societal pressures. It is paramount to counsel pregnant patients to switch to drugs with no adverse effect on the developing fetus. However, lack of communication is a major factor preventing physicians from counseling patients about conception.
Carrie Broussard, a GIST patient, gave birth to a healthy baby boy on May 1, after finding out she was pregnant in the midst of treatment with Gleevec.