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Chemo Appears Not To Raise Birth Defect Risk in Offspring

Chemo Appears Not To Raise Birth Defect Risk in Offspring

BUFFALO, NY--Despite a history of aggressive chemotherapy, survivors
of childhood cancer are capable of conceiving and giving birth
to healthy children, Daniel M. Green, MD, of the Department of
Pediatrics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said at the 4th International
Conference on Long-Term Complications of Children and Adolescents
for Cancer.

A Questionnaire

In their study, Dr. Green and his colleagues asked 5-year survivors
who were over 18 years of age to complete a questionnaire regarding
pregnancy outcome and health of offspring.

A total of 280 pregnancies were reported by 148 of the 405 respondents
to the questionnaire. Of the 91 patients (37 males, 54 females)
who had received one or more chemotherapeutic agents, 153 pregnancies
were reported: 142 full-term, 10 premature, and 1 stillborn.

The frequency of birth defects, using the Metropolitan Atlanta
Congenital Defects Program definition, was 3.3%, a frequency that
is similar statistically to that documented for the entire US
population, Dr. Green said.

None of the survivors reported having had a child diagnosed with
cancer. "Although the follow-up data tend to support our
belief that offspring do not have an increased risk of developing
cancer, we continue to adopt a 'so far, so good' approach,"
he said.

Offspring Are Still Young

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