“Children born from frozen embryos are at higher risk of cancer”

16.7 natural pregnancies per 100,000 people with cancer before the age of 18, 30.1 frozen embryos

Children born with FET-applied ART have a higher risk of developing cancer, a study has found. [사진= 클립아트코리아]
The technology of artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization is called assisted reproductive technology (ART). In this process, embryos are made in the laboratory with eggs and sperm, frozen, then thawed and implanted in the uterus is called frozen embryo transfer (FET). ART does not necessarily require a FET, but it is often applied. A study has found that children born with ART to which this FET is applied have a higher risk of developing cancer. Based on the research papers of the Swedish University of Gothenburg researchers published in the online international academic journal PLOS Medicine on the 1st (local time), the US health medicine webzine ‘Health Day’ reported the content.

The researchers analyzed medical data from more than 7.9 million children in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Of those, about 172,000 were born with assisted reproductive technology (ART). Among them, 22,630 were applied with FET technology.

Overall, it was found that children born with ART did not have a higher risk of cancer than children born with natural pregnancies. When examining the cancer incidence rate before the age of 18, ART pregnancy was 19.3 per 100,000 and natural pregnancy was 16.7 per 100,000.

However, the number of children born with FET was found to be 30.1 per 100,000. Of the 22,630 people who were actually surveyed, 48 were. Among them, the most common cancers were leukemia and mainly tumors of the central nervous system.

Previous studies have shown that babies born after FET may have higher short-term health risks, but the long-term risks were less clear. The study revealed an increased long-term risk of developing cancer.

The researchers emphasized that children who were pregnant with ART did not have an increased overall cancer risk. “Overall, no increase in cancer was found among children born with ART,” said co-author of the paper, Professor Ullah-Britt Benerholm (obstetrics and gynecology) at the University of Eteborg. She said, however, that when it comes to children born with PET, she said, “while the individual risk was low, at the population level, freezing cycles are becoming increasingly longer and could have an impact,” she said. However, the researchers added that additional research is needed because the number of children with cancer itself (48) is small.

The paper can be found at the following site: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004078.

By Han Gun-pil, reporter [email protected]

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