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Improving how we manage acute leukaemia in pregnancy

When people develop acute leukaemia’s during pregnancy, there is a need to treat the mother whilst minimising harm to the unborn baby. Dr Sahra Ali is putting together guidelines to help clinicians make decisions, giving everyone the best chances of survival.

The challenge

Acute leukaemia’s are aggressive blood cancers that can affect people of any age, including people who are pregnant or may want to have children. For people who are pregnant, medical professionals have a difficult balancing act: they need to treat the cancer effectively without harming the unborn baby.It’s thought that chemotherapy is safe to use in the treatment of acute leukaemia’s in pregnancy.

The project

Dr Sahra Ali has previously put together guidelines surrounding this; however, they were mainly based on the opinions of experts in the field. Dr Ali now wants to update the guidelines. She is creating a registry to identify and monitor all cases of acute leukaemia in pregnancy in the UK. The registry will contain information on how people were treated, whether this was successful and whether there were any side effects for the parent and the child.

The future

In the future, this information will be used to create clear recommendations for how to treat and manage acute leukaemia in pregnancy, offering both the parent and baby the best chances of survival.