IVF: No Increased Risk of Cancer in Children after In-Vitro Fertilization

Alastair Sutcliffe M.D., Ph.D. From the Institute of Child Health University College LondonMedicalResearch.com  Interview with:
Alastair Sutcliffe M.D., Ph.D.
From the Institute of Child Health
University College London


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?  

Dr. Sutcliffe: Good NEWS for couples who need assisted conception. All the births (106,000) from Great Britain over 18 years were linked to the National Childhood Cancer Registry from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (which has recorded all births sine 1991 by law.)Those children who showed up on both registries, had IVF conception and childhood cancer.

We predicted the number we would expect from the known national childhood cancer rates. We found ALMOST IDENTICAL rates 108 in our group and 109 predicted. NO INCREASED RISK OF CANCER AFTER IVF CONCEPTION IN OFFSPRING.

Dr. Sutcliffe: MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Sutcliffe: NO although weaker MUCH smaller studies have suggested an increased risk.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Sutcliffe: The fact that children born after this form of conception (now 2% in the UK, 5% in Denmark) which are rising year on year throughout the world do NOT have an increased rate of childhood  cancer with some degree of certainty is massive news for the fertility community, parents, public health and all. Cancer (or its absence) is a key population health statistic collected worldwide.It bodes well for the children in relation to naturally conceived children as they grow up. We will reanalyse the data from this cohort of individuals as they get older.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Sutcliffe: Re-analysing as the children grow up. We did find tow very rare cancers slightly increased. We would be willing to share our data with another large population country(ies) to address the very cancers more robustly.


Cancer Risk among Children Born after Assisted Conception

Carrie L. Williams, M.B., B.Ch., Kathryn J. Bunch, M.A., Charles A. Stiller, M.A., M.Sc., Michael F.G. Murphy, M.B., B.Chir., Beverley J. Botting, Ph.D., W. Hamish Wallace, M.D., Melanie Davies, M.B., B.S., and Alastair G. Sutcliffe, M.D., Ph.D.


N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1819-1827
November 7, 2013
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1301675


Last Updated on November 9, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD