Birth de­fects linked to in­creased risk of child­hood can­cer

Tehran Times - - SCI / MED -

Chil­dren with non-chro­mo­so­mal birth de­fects, such as con­gen­i­tal heart mal­for­ma­tions or ner­vous sys­tem dis­or­ders, are more than twice as likely to end up with child­hood can­cer as kids with­out a birth de­fect, ac­cord­ing to a study.

Ap­prox­i­mately 3 per­cent of chil­dren born in the United States have a birth de­fect, ei­ther due to chro­mo­so­mal anom­alies, sin­gle-gene syn­dromes, or an­other cause. The ma­jor­ity — 86.5 per­cent — are the lat­ter. While pre­vi­ous stud­ies have looked at the con­nec­tions be­tween spe­cific de­fects and the risk of any can­cer, or spe­cific can­cers and birth de­fects gen­er­ally, “what’s miss­ing (are) good, pop­u­la­tion-based es­ti­mates of the risk of spe­cific can­cers and as­so­ci­a­tions with spe­cific birth de­fects,” says coau­thor Jeremy Schraw, a post­doc­toral pe­di­atric can­cer re­searcher at Bay­lor Col­lege of Medicine, dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at AACR. “That’s be­cause what’s needed … are very large, pop­u­la­tion-based stud­ies that al­low for es­ti­ma­tion of those risks.”

To ob­tain that kind of large dataset, Schraw and his col­leagues col­lected data from birth de­fect and can­cer reg­istries in Texas, Michi­gan, Arkansas, and North Carolina for the years 1992-2013. “We were able to form a ret­ro­spec­tive birth co­hort of over 10 mil­lion live births,” Schraw says. Their goal was to find as­so­ci­a­tions be­tween spe­cific can­cers and par­tic­u­lar non-chro­mo­so­mal de­fects, he ex­plains. The re­searchers ul­ti­mately ex­am­ined 60 birth de­fects and 31 child­hood can­cers, and iden­ti­fied 539,891 chil­dren with non-chro­mo­so­mal de­fects, 14,773 kids with can­cer, and 1,787 with both.

Schraw and his col­leagues found that the risk of de­vel­op­ing any can­cer was 2.6 times higher in chil­dren with non-chro­mo­so­mal birth de­fects than in those with­out a de­fect. And cer­tain birth de­fects had much higher as­so­ci­a­tions with par­tic­u­lar can­cers.

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