Aims Cancer incidence has been investigated in children born after non-donor assisted conception, but incidence in children born after donor assisted conception remain uncertain. This study aimed to determine overall and site specific cancer incidence in a British cohort of children born after assisted conception using donor gametes.
Methods This retrospective cohort study utilised records of all 12 186 children born in Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) after all forms of donor assisted conception between 1992 and 2008. Records were linked to the United Kingdom National Registry of Childhood Tumours to determine the number who developed cancer at under 15 years of age by the end of 2008. Overall and site specific cancer rates within the cohort were compared with population based rates in Great Britain over the same time period, stratifying for potential mediating and moderating factors including sex, age at diagnosis, birth weight, multiple births, parity, parental age, assisted conception type and parental infertility cause.
Results No overall increased risk of cancer was identified in this population. 12 cancers were detected compared with 14.4 expected (Standardised incidence ratio (SIR) 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43, 1.45). A small but significant increased risk of hepatoblastoma was detected, but numbers were small (<5 cases observed compared with 0.19 cases expected; SIR 10.28; 95% CI 1.25, 37.14) and therefore absolute risk increase was also small (18.9 cases per 1 million person years). This risk was associated with low birth weight.
Conclusion There was no overall increased risk of cancer in children born in Great Britain after donor assisted conception over this 16 year study period. A small increased risk of hepatoblastoma was detected, but numbers were small and absolute risks low. Our results mirror those found in a similar cohort of 1 06 000 children born after non-donor assisted conception over the same period in Britain.
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