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.
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.