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Fertility Treatments Pose Risk of Pediatric Cancers

Summary: Researchers report children born from mothers who underwent fertility treatment are at higher risk of developing neoplasms and pediatric cancers.

Source: Ben Gurion University.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have found that babies born from mothers who underwent fertility treatments are at increased risk of developing many types of pediatric cancers and tumors (neoplasms).

According to the American Cancer Society, the most common pediatric neoplasms are leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, neuroblastomas, Wilms tumors, and lymphoma, including both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin.

The study, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, was a population-based cohort analysis of babies born between 1991 and 2013 at Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel, with follow-up to age 18.

“In Israel, all fertility interventions, which include in vitro fertilization (IVF) and ovulation induction (OI), are fully covered by insurance, enabling citizens of all backgrounds access to these treatments,” says Prof. Eyal Sheiner, M.D., Ph.D., vice dean of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS), member of its Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a physician at Soroka.

Of the 242,187 newborn infants in the study, 237,863 (98.3 percent) were conceived spontaneously; 2,603 (1.1 percent) were conceived after in vitro fertilization, and 1,721 (0.7 percent) were conceived after ovulation induction treatments.

Image shows a human egg being artificially fertilized.

“The research concludes that the association between IVF and total pediatric neoplasms and malignancies is significant,” Prof. Sheiner says. “With increasing numbers of offspring conceived after fertility treatments, it is important to follow up on their health.” NeuroscienceNews.com image is for illustrative purposes only.

During the follow-up period of approximately 10.6 years, 1,498 neoplasms (0.6 percent) were diagnosed. The incidence rate for neoplasms was highest among children either after IVF (1.5/1000) and somewhat lower for OI births (1.0/1000) as compared to that of naturally conceived children (.59/1000).

“The research concludes that the association between IVF and total pediatric neoplasms and malignancies is significant,” Prof. Sheiner says. “With increasing numbers of offspring conceived after fertility treatments, it is important to follow up on their health.”

About this neuroscience research article

Other researchers who participated in the study include Prof. Tamar Weinstock, Prof. Ilana Shoham-Vardi and Ruslan Sergienko, BGU Department of Public Health; Dr. Daniella Landau, BGU Department of Pediatrics; Drs. Ari Harlev and Asnat Walfisch, BGU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; and Dr. Idit Segal, Israel Ministry of Health.

NeuroscienceNews.com would like to thank Andrew Lavin for submitting this article to us.

Source: Andrew Lavin – Ben Gurion University
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Fertility treatments and pediatric neoplasms of the offspring: results of a population-based cohort with a median follow-up of 10 years” by Tamar Wainstock, Asnat Walfisch, MD, Ilana Shoham-Vardi, PhD, Idit Segal, MD, Avi Harlev, MD, Ruslan Sergienko, MA, Daniella Landau, MD, Eyal Sheiner, MD, PhD in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Published online January 29 2017 doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.01.015

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article
Ben Gurion University “Fertility Treatments Pose Risk of Pediatric Cancers.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 26 April 2017.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/ivf-pediatric-cancer-6518/>.
Ben Gurion University (2017, April 26). Fertility Treatments Pose Risk of Pediatric Cancerse. NeuroscienceNew. Retrieved April 26, 2017 from http://neurosciencenews.com/ivf-pediatric-cancer-6518/
Ben Gurion University “Fertility Treatments Pose Risk of Pediatric Cancers.” http://neurosciencenews.com/ivf-pediatric-cancer-6518/ (accessed April 26, 2017).

Abstract

Fertility treatments and pediatric neoplasms of the offspring: results of a population-based cohort with a median follow-up of 10 years

Objective
Studies have questioned the long-term health effects of offspring conceived after fertility treatments.

Methods
We aimed to evaluate whether an association exists between mode of conception (in vitro fertilization, ovulation induction, or spontaneous pregnancy) and neoplasm risk (both benign and malignant tumors) among the offspring; we observed the offspring for up to 18 years.

Study Design
A population-based cohort analysis was performed that compared the risk for neoplasms among children (up to the age of 18 years) based on mode of conception. Neoplasm diagnoses were based on hospital records of the same single tertiary center in the region. All singletons born during from 1991–2013 and discharged alive were included in the study. Offspring with congenital malformations were excluded from the analysis. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed to compare cumulative neoplasms incidence; multivariable survival analyses were used to control for confounders that included gestational age, pregnancy complications, and maternal factors.

Results
During the study period, 242,187 newborn infants met the inclusion criteria: 2603 (1.1%) were conceived after in vitro fertilization; 1721 (0.7%) were conceived after ovulation induction treatments, and 237,863 (98.3%) were conceived spontaneously. During the follow-up period (median, 10.55 years), 1498 neoplasms(0.6%) were diagnosed. Incidence density rate for neoplasms was higher among children conceived either after in vitro fertilization (1.5/1000 person years) or ovulation induction treatments (1.0/1000 person years), as compared with naturally conceived children (0.59/1000 person years; Kaplan-Meier log rank, P<.001). The association between in vitro fertilization and total pediatric neoplasms and the association between any fertility treatments and malignancies remained significant; we controlled for confounders such as gestational diabetes mellitus, hypertensive disorders, preterm birth, and maternal age (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.71–3.50; and adjusted hazard ratio, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.14–3.36, for all neoplasms and all malignancies, respectively).

Conclusion
Children conceived after fertility treatments are at an increased risk for pediatric neoplasms.

“Fertility treatments and pediatric neoplasms of the offspring: results of a population-based cohort with a median follow-up of 10 years” by Tamar Wainstock, Asnat Walfisch, MD, Ilana Shoham-Vardi, PhD, Idit Segal, MD, Avi Harlev, MD, Ruslan Sergienko, MA, Daniella Landau, MD, Eyal Sheiner, MD, PhD in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Published online January 29 2017 doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.01.015

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