Cancer Survivorship Has Little Effect on Birth Outcomes
But offspring of childhood cancer survivors more likely to be premature, have low birth weight
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most infants born to female and male survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer are not at increased risk of overall complications, but may be at increased risk of preterm delivery or low birth weight, according to two studies published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Beth A. Mueller, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues compared pregnancy outcomes in 1,898 female childhood and adolescent cancer survivors and 14,278 controls. Although they found that children born to cancer survivors were not at increased risk of malformations, infant death or altered sex ratio, they identified increased risks of preterm delivery and birth weight below 2,500 grams.
Eric J. Chow, M.D., also of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and colleagues compared birth outcomes in 470 male childhood and adolescent cancer survivors and 4,150 controls. Overall, they found that children born to cancer survivors were not at increased risk of malformations, premature birth, being small for gestational age, or altered sex ratio. However, they identified a borderline risk of birth weight below 2,500 grams, which was elevated in men at a younger age at diagnosis who underwent either chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
"Our finding of increased low birth weight and preeclampsia associated with some diagnostic groups raises the possibility that prior cancer therapy may affect male germ cells with effects on female partners and progeny of male survivors," Chow and colleagues conclude.