Assisted reproductive technology and association with childhood cancer subtypes

Journal Article

ABSTRACTObjectivesUse of assisted reproductive technology (ART) may alter the typical course of fetal development. We sought to investigate the association between ART use and childhood cancer subtype.Study designWe surveyed 1701 parents of children with cancer about ART use, demographics, and gestational and perinatal factors. Multivariable logistic regression modeled the association between ART use and childhood cancer subtypes, birthweight and multiple gestation status.ResultsAmong childhood cancer patients, ART use was highest among children with osteosarcoma (OR=2.81; 95% CI=1.2-6.4; P=0.01). ART use was also elevated among children with hepatoblastoma, and this relationship appeared mediated by low birthweight. No specific type of ART appeared to drive these associations. Low birthweight was itself strongly associated with increased hepatoblastoma risk, even after adjustment for ART use, multiple gestation status, sex, and parental income (P<0.001). Birthweight was higher in patients with germ cell tumors (P=0.02) and with neuroblastoma (P=0.06). Multiple gestation status was associated with neuroblastoma among females (OR=3.6, 95% CI=1.2-10.5, P=0.02), but not among males (OR=0.97, 95% CI=0.27-3.4, P=0.96) (Pinteraction=0.02).ConclusionsAssociations between ART use and hepatoblastoma risk may be mediated by birthweight, a strong hepatoblastoma risk factor that was replicated in our study. ART use may also be associated with osteosarcoma independent of birthweight, an association not previously observed in studies limited to cancers diagnosed before adolescence. Evaluating long-term health outcomes in children conceived by ART, throughout adolescence and potentially into adulthood, appears warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gulrajani, NB; Montes, S; McGough, D; Wimberly, CE; Khattab, A; Semmes, EC; Towry, L; Cohen, JL; Hurst, JH; Landi, D; Hill, SN; Walsh, KM

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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/2021.04.26.21256117