Home Life Style No cancer risk for children conceived through IVF, study finds

No cancer risk for children conceived through IVF, study finds

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ART, or assisted reproductive technology, was used for the first time in 1970 and at that time was a breakthrough in the world of reproductive medicine. Statistics show that worldwide more than 5 million children have been born through IVF, in vitro fertilization. Although ART is the only solution for infertile couples, there is a real controversy about assisted reproductive techniques : IVF,  ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), cryopreservation or intra- uterine insemination ( IUI ), regarding ethical and medical implications. There have been studies that have shown that there is a higher risk of genetic disorders and cancer in infants resulting from assisted reproduction. But now the results of a new study conducted by researchers at University College London shows that there is actually no higher risk of cancer among children born through assisted reproduction.

Concerns that occurred recently on the risk of cancer among children born through assisted reproductive technologies have prompted British Researchers to investigate this fact. The study results disproved, however, these concerns. Lead researcher Dr. Alastair Sutcliffe, a specialist in general pediatrics at the University College London, said the risk of cancer to IVF – conceived children is the same as that seen in children born natural. Sutcliffe added that this study provides a strong and reassuring message not only for families but also for specialists and the public.

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The study included more than 106,000 children who were born through assisted reproductive technologies between 1992 and 2008. The researchers then compared the number of children who had cancer with expected number of cancers in the general population up to 15 years. The researchers found that during the 7 years of follow-up, there were 108 cases of cancer among children born through assisted reproduction compared to 110 cancer cases in the general population. The study also showed that there is no higher risk of leukemia, neuroblastoma, cancer of the nervous system or kidney cancer among children conceived through IVF. However , there was a slightly increased risk for two rare cancers : hepatoblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, among these children.

Dr. Lawrence Grunfeld, a clinical associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Icahn in New York City, said that the study is extremely reassuring and should remove any anxiety regarding IVF. Dr.Grunfeld explained that most of the medical problems of children born through IVF are not a consequence of the procedure but a genetic risk or an underlying problem that caused infertility of the parents.