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THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Neither prenatal chemotherapy nor preconception gonad irradiation are associated with genetic defects in children of cancer survivors, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Jeanette F. Winther, M.D., from the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen, and colleagues investigated the dose-response relationships between cancer treatments and untoward pregnancy outcomes in 472 Danish survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer and their 1,037 pregnancies. Data were collected from medical records of participants for preconception radiation doses to the gonads, uterus and pituitary gland, and administered chemotherapy. A generalized estimating equation model was used to correlate these data with adverse events, which included 159 congenital malformations, six chromosomal abnormalities, seven stillbirths, and nine neonatal deaths.
The investigators found there was no statistically significant correlation between prenatal alkylating drug treatment, or preconception radiation doses to the testes or ovaries in cancer survivors, and genetic disease in children. Compared with children of nonirradiated survivors, those of irradiated survivors had a similar risk of genetic disease (relative risk [RR], 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.59 to 1.44). There was no statistically significant association seen between abdominopelvic irradiation and malformations, stillbirths, and neonatal deaths in children of mothers receiving high uterine doses (mean 13.5 Gy; RR, 2.3; 95 percent CI, 0.95 to 5.56) or in the children of female survivors overall (P = 0.07).
"Mutagenic chemotherapy and radiotherapy doses to the gonads were not associated with genetic defects in children of cancer survivors," the authors write.
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