IVF children more likely to develop cancer

July 21st, 2010 - 3:20 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 21 (IANS) Children conceived through IVF treatment are 42 percent more likely to develop cancer in their early years, according to the largest study of its kind.
IVF treatment or ‘in vitro fertilisation’ means a treatment where the union of the woman’s egg and the man’s sperm happens in a test tube.

Concerns have been raised that children born after fertility treatment are at greater risk of complications, congential malformations and infertility problems themselves.

But this is the first time a significant association with cancer has been found, reports the Telegraph.

The research team said this meant there was a 42 percent increased risk of childhood cancer in these children.

Lead author Bengt Källén of the University of Lund in Sweden wrote in the journal: “We found a moderately increased risk for cancer in children who were conceived by IVF.”

Swedish researchers used records of more than 26,000 children born after IVF treatment and linked them to registers of cancer diagnosis. These findings were published in the journal Paediatrics.

They found 53 children developed cancer, ranging from a very young age, up to 19 years, against an expected number of 38.

The cancers included leukaemia, cancers of the eye and nervous system, solid tumours and six cases of a condition called Langerhans histiocytosis.

IVF-conceived children were 87 percent more likely to have received a diagnosis of cancer by the age of three than the general population.

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