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Large UK population study finds no increased cancer risk in children born after assisted conception
Date:7/9/2013

London, 9 July 2013: Children born as a result of assisted reproduction (ART) are at no greater risk of cancer than children born spontaneously in the general population, according to results of one of the largest ever cohort studies of ART children. "This is reassuring news for couples considering assisted conception, their subsequent children, fertility specialists and for the wider public health," said the investigators.

Results of the study were presented today at the annual meeting of ESHRE by Dr Carrie Williams from the Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK.

This was a large population-based linkage study between the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA, the UK's regulatory authority for ART clinics) and the UK's National Registry of Childhood Tumours (NRCT).(1) The HFEA records of all 106,381 children born after assisted conception in the UK from 1992 to 2008 were linked to NRCT records to calculate the number of children who subsequently developed cancer. Once the databases were linked, cancer rates in the ART cohort were compared with population rates, whilst stratifying for potential mediating factors including birth weight, multiple births, treatment type and infertility cause. The average duration of follow up was 6.6 years.

Results showed that there was no overall increased risk of cancer in ART children born throughout the 17-year study period. Overall, 108 cancers were identified in the ART children, which was comparable with the 109.7 cases which would have been expected from general population figures.

However, increased risks were found for the development of certain rare cancer types, though these findings were based on small numbers and the absolute excess risks were small. For instance, significantly more children developed hepatic tumours than expected (6 vs. 1.83), which translated to an added excess risk of 5.94 per million person-years. This excess risk was also associate
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Contact: Christine Bauquis
christine@eshre.eu
32-499-258-046
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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