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Cancer risk and non-chromosomal birth defects—using Big Data

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Big data sets are impressive when used carefully in epidemiological research. The Archivist has always been aware that various birth defects and some non-chromosomal syndromes are associated with the risk of developing cancer later in life. What do we know about these associations? In a large population-based registry study of over 10 million children in the United States of America (USA), Lupo PL et al. [JAMA Oncol 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.1215] have assessed the cancer risk among children with birth defects. Forty specific birth defect–childhood cancer associations were identified, including several novel associations. The Archivist was reminded that the incidence of …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.