The risk for cancer among children of women who underwent in vitro fertilization

Liat Lerner-Geva*, Amos Toren, Angela Chetrit, Baruch Modan, Mathilda Mandel, Gideon Rechavi, Jehoshuah Dor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The possible association between ovarian carcinoma and ovulation-inducing drugs has led to renewed interest in the potential carcinogenic risks of these drugs. In vitro fertilization (IVF) has been linked to multiple pregnancies and possibly congenital malformations. However, to the authors' knowledge the association between IVF and pediatric cancer has been described only in sporadic case reports. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence rate of pediatric cancer among a cohort of children born after IVF. METHODS. A historic prospective study based on a cohort of 332 children from 1254 women who underwent IVT treatment between 1981-1994 was performed. Medical files were reviewed and names were linked to the National Population and Cancer Registries. Pediatric cancer incidence rates were compared with the expected age-adjusted rates of the general population during the respective time period. RESULTS. No cancer cases were observed among the study cohort with respect to 1.7 cases that were expected. CONCLUSIONS. Because the small cohort analysis in the current study lacked the necessary power to reach definite conclusions, larger prospective studies are needed to assess the potential carcinogenic effect on children born after ovulation induction and IVF. (C) 2000 American Cancer Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2845-2847
Number of pages3
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • In vitro fertilization
  • Infertility
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Pediatric cancer


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