MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Logan G. Spector, Ph.D.
Suzanne Holmes Hodder Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research
Director, Division of Epidemiology/Clinical Research
Department of Pediatrics
University of Minnesota
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Since IVF has become commonplace in the last three decades there has been concern about its potential for affecting the health of children conceived this way. We know, for instance, that pregnancies enabled by IVF have more difficulties, and there are more birth defects among offspring. So for this study we wished to see if children conceived by IVF have a different risk of childhoood cancer.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: There is not an increased risk of most childhood cancers among children conceived by IVF. A class of especially rare childhood cancers known as embryonal tumors, especially embryonal liver tumors, appeared slightly more likely among children conceived by IVF. For these few cancers, even among children conceived by IVF, they remained very rare. Overall these results should be reassuring to parents who have used IVF.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: For the few, rare cancers that seemed to be associated with IVF it would be helpful to see if these childrens’ tumors differ from other childrens’ tumors. It will also be necessary to continue to follow cohorts of children conceived by IVF to see if their cancer experience differs at older ages.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: This research took the cooperation of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and over a dozen state departments of health over many years, for which we are thankful. No disclosures.
Spector LG, Brown MB, Wantman E, et al. Association of In Vitro Fertilization With Childhood Cancer in the United States. JAMA Pediatr. Published online April 01, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.0392
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