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Testicular Cancer Treatment Does Not Up Risk for Offspring Birth Defects

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019 -- Children of men with testicular germ-cell cancer (TGCC) have a modestly increased risk for congenital malformation (CM), which does not differ at pretreatment and posttreatment, according to a study published online June 4 in PLOS Medicine.

Yahia Al-Jebari, from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues conducted a nationwide register study involving all 2,027,997 singletons born in Sweden from 1994 to 2014. Children were classified according to presence of TGCC (4,207 children born to 2,380 fathers with TGCC diagnoses); treatment regimen, including surveillance, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy (1,340, 2,533, and 360, respectively); and according to time of conception, pretreatment or posttreatment (2,770 and 1,437, respectively).

The researchers found that 184 children fathered by men with TGCC had CM. The risk for CM was higher among children of fathers with TGCC versus those without TGCC (4.4 versus 3.5 percent; odds ratio, 1.28; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.19 to 1.38; P = 0.001). When comparing posttreatment- versus pretreatment-conceived children, there was no additional risk associated with treatment (4.1 versus 4.6 percent; chemotherapy: odds ratio, 0.82; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 1.25; P = 0.37; radiotherapy: 3.2 versus 3.0 percent; odds ratio, 1.01; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.25 to 4.12; P = 0.98).

"Although we find somewhat increased risk of CM in children fathered by men with TGCC, this increase is rather modest, and this reassuring information can be passed on to patients," the authors write.

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Posted: June 2019

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