Conception by in vitro fertilization could increase risk of childhood cancer

May 7, 2019

According to research published in JAMA Pediatrics, a small association between in vitro fertilization (IVF) and hepatic tumors has been found. Within this study, data was collected from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinical Outcomes Reporting System along with linkage to birth and cancer registries of 14 states. From this data, approximately 2 million randomly selected births as well as 275,000 children conceived via IVF were compared.

Researchers in this study discovered 321 instances of cancer for children conceived through in vitro fertilization. For children not conceived via IVF, 2,042 cancers were identified. As extrapolated from this data, a hazard ratio of 1.17 was calculated for children born via IVF. This would indicate that these individuals are 17% more likely to develop cancerous growths, particularly in the liver. No associations have been found for other forms of cancer. According to the lead author, Logan G. Spector, Ph.D., “continuous follow-up for monitoring cancer occurrence for children conceived via IVF is recommended.”

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