The risk of cancer in children and young adults does not increase

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The risk of cancer in children born as a result of fertility treatment has not been higher than in the general population.

The results presented today at the 37th Annual Meeting of ESHRE of an 18-year mean follow-up study show that the overall chance of developing malignancies did not increase in the offspring conceived by ART. Details of the analysis are presented online today by Dr. Mandy Spaan from the Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam (UMC) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, at the ESHRE Virtual Annual Meeting.

The results also found no difference in the results between ART and those conceived by sub-fertile women who became pregnant naturally, with or without to induce ovulation.

In general, Spaan describes the results as “quite reassuring, especially for children conceived with IVF” and are an important contribution to current knowledge about the health risks of offspring with ART. ”Doctors can help, he explained, to inform parents considering ART about the potential for their children. In addition, Spaan says the findings provide gynecologists with “evidence-based information about the association between ART and in children and adolescents “.

As a background to the study, Dr. Spaan explained that there is growing evidence that ART procedures can influence the normal genetic modifications that occur in the embryo before it is implanted in the uterus. Fertility, freezing and thawing drugs for eggs / embryos and the type of environment in which they are grown can have an impact.

This report is based on the offspring of women treated at the 13 IVF clinics or two regional fertility centers in the Netherlands.

The data came from the OMEGA cohort, a Netherlands-based cohort study of all offspring born to infertile women treated with and without ART between 1980 and 2012. A total of 89,249 children were included, 51,417 born although ART as IVF , ICSI and frozen embryo transfer (FET) between 1983 and 2012, and 37,832 conceived naturally by subfertile women with / without fertility drugs between 1975 and 2012.

Details on ART treatment and maternal characteristics were obtained from medical records, the Dutch perinatal record, and questionnaires completed by mothers. This information was compared (IVF versus ICSI, transfer of fresh versus frozen embryos and cause of subfertility) incidence found in the Dutch Cancer Registry.

The analysis showed that 358 cancers were diagnosed in children, of which 157 were in the ART group and 201 in the non-ART group. There was no overall increase in cancer risk for those born after ART compared to those who were not conceived by ART and the general population.

The chance of developing cancer did not increase significantly in children conceived by IVF compared to children who were not ART. ICSI children were more likely to get cancer, but the authors claim that this is mainly due to an increased likelihood of melanoma (based on four cases) and that it may be accidental.

Children born after FET did not have an increased risk compared to those born after a new embryo transfer, nor did those born 18 years or older who were conceived for ART compared to those who were not ART.


No increased overall risk of cancer in children born after fertility treatment


More information:
Presentation 0-077, Monday 28 June 2021: Cancer risk in a national cohort of children and young adults conceived by assisted reproductive technology in 1983-2011

Citation: Cancer Risk in Children and Young Adults Does Not Increase (2021, June 28) Retrieved June 28, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-cancer-art-children-young-adults .html

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