Date Published: 6 November 2013

Study finds no increased cancer risk in children born through assisted conception

The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has responded to the results of a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which has found no increased cancer risk in children born through assisted conception (fertility treatment).

The study considered 106, 381 HFEA register records dating from the years 1992-2008 and statistics recorded on the UK's National Registry of Childhood Tumours. This makes the recent study one of the largest population-based linkage studies of this type conducted to date.

In a statement on its website, the HFEA said:

" The fact that a study of this size has found no association between ART [assisted reproduction treatment] and childhood cancer should offer comfort to those patients facing the difficult decision about whether to undergo fertility treatment or not."

The outcome of this study does seem likely to reassure patients considering whether or not to undergo fertility treatment. The HFEA article goes on to say that the authority welcomes research applications to use its register data for the purposes of such research. Doubtless in common with those facing fertility issues and considering receiving treatment, the HFEA states that it would like to see further investigation into the effects of assisted reproductive treatment (i.e. fertility treatment) on both the mother and child or children.

Source: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HEFA), UK

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