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Conception by IVF May Increase Risk for Rare Childhood Cancer

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 -- There is a small association between conception by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and childhood cancer, particularly hepatic tumors, according to a study published online April 1 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Logan G. Spector, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues used data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinical Outcomes Reporting System on IVF cycles that resulted in live births from Sept. 1, 2004, to Dec. 31, 2013. Analysis included 275,686 children conceived via IVF and 2,266,847 randomly selected births, from which 10 births were randomly selected for each IVF birth. Data were linked to the birth and cancer registries of 14 states with follow-up through 2014.

The researchers identified 321 cancers among the children conceived via IVF (49.1 percent girls; mean age, 4.6 years for singleton births and 5.9 years for multiple births) and 2,042 cancers among children not conceived via IVF (49.2 percent girls; mean age, 6.1 years for singleton births and 4.7 years for multiple births). In the IVF group, the overall cancer rate was 251.9 per one million person-years versus 192.7 for the non-IVF group (hazard ratio, 1.17; 95 percent confidence interval, 1 to 1.36). Only rates of hepatic tumors were higher in the IVF group versus the non-IVF group (hazard ratio, 2.46; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.29 to 4.70). No associations were seen with specific IVF treatment modalities or indication for IVF.

"Continued follow-up for cancer occurrence among children conceived via IVF is warranted," the authors write.

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Posted: April 2019

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