Chemotherapy May Impair the Fertility of Your Future Children- If You are a Woman
Oct 31, 2017
Origin: ASRM Press Release
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE’S 2017 SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS & EXPO
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San Antonio, TX- Chemotherapy is known to have deleterious effects on cancer patients’ fertility, but the degree to which it may affect the fertility of a second generation- children conceived by patients after chemotherapy treatment- is not so well-known. A group of Salt Lake City-based researchers used data from the Utah Population Database (UPDB) to conduct two retrospective cohort studies presented at ASRM’s Scientific Congress and Expo to determine whether a parent’s pre-conception exposure to chemotherapy affects their child’s fertility in adulthood.
They found that the children of women who had received chemo prior to becoming pregnant had significantly fewer children of their own, compared to women in the general population and compared to their unexposed cousins. The children of men receiving chemo before conception had roughly the same number of children as members of the general population and slightly fewer children than their unexposed cousins.
Three generations were included in each analysis: F0- either men (age 0 to 55) or women (age 0 to 45) with a history of cancer, able to conceive offspring after exposure to chemo; F1- their children, conceived after exposure to chemo; and F2, the children of F1. The subjects in generation F1 were matched with two controls- unexposed members of the general population of the same gender and from the same birth year, and unexposed cousins of the same gender born within five years of the subjects.
Children born to mothers who had received chemotherapy before conception had 72% fewer children of their own than the general population- with F1 women having 71% fewer children and F1 men having 87% fewer children. This generation also had significantly fewer children than their unexposed cousins (74%).
The outcome was very different for those whose fathers who had been exposed to chemo before having children. While this F1 generation had 17% fewer children than their unexposed cousins, they had only 2% fewer children than the general population. As compared to the general population, F1 women’s births were down by 10%. However, F1 men had 28% more children than the general population.
Daniel Williams, MD, President of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, commented, “These two studies highlight the importance of offering pre-chemotherapy fertility preservation services to all reproductive age cancer patients who want to have children and grandchildren in their future. Although the study does not distinguish between different types of cancer and different chemotherapy regimens, it is strongly suggests that the impact of chemotherapy may be greater on eggs than on sperm.”
O-113 B. Patel, et al, CHILDREN OF MEN EXPOSED TO CHEMOTHERAPY HAVE NORMAL FECUNDITY
O-116 B. Patel et al, INTERGENERATIONAL EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY ON FECUNDITY: BOTH MALE AND FEMALE CHILDREN BORN TO WOMEN EXPOSED TO CHEMOTHERAPY HAVE FEWER CHILDREN
ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. www.asrm.org