Assisted procreation and cancer: the risks could ultimately be related to the causes of infertility

A recent study on the risk of women's cancers and medically assisted procreation techniques indicates that it is rather the causes of infertility that are associated with the observed increase in cancers.

Researchers have looked more closely at the association between assisted reproduction and the increased risk of developing cancer. Surprisingly, they found that "no increased risk of uterine cancer or invasive breast cancer was detected in women who had had assisted reproduction", but that "increased risks of breast cancer in situ and invasive and borderline ovarian tumors were found within the cohort ".
In other words, "the results indicate that the risk of ovarian tumor may ultimately be due to the medical characteristics of the infertile patients, rather than to assisted procreation per se." The study was conducted in Great Britain from 1991 to 2010. 255,786 women contributed to the research (Source: Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority).

"A powerful treatment"

In late October 2015, a study conducted by Professor Alastair Sutcliffe and his team of scientists at University College London Hospital found that there was an increased risk of ovarian cancer in infertile women using FIV. From 1991 to 2010, they compared 250,000 patients with FIV to the general population. Of these, 15 out of 10,000 developed this type of cancer, compared to 11 out of 10,000.
"The rate of cancer measures the health of a population, explained at the time Professor Sutcliffe to Marie Claireand the older it gets, the higher the rate. There, we follow a population of women who have undergone a powerful treatment, and we ask ourselves about the risks. If our study shows that they are not more likely to develop breast cancer or uterus, they are however more exposed to that of the ovaries. Notably, and it is important to emphasize this, within three years of treatment, whether or not it results in pregnancy. "

More than half a million babies are born each year from IVF

Forty years after the birth of Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby" in the world, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) reports today that the total number of babies born as a result of in-fecundation In vitro (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is over 8 million. It is estimated that more than half a million babies are born each year from IVF and ICSI as a result of more than 2 million treatments.
IVF is performed outside the body, in a test tube inside which the gametes or sexual cells (spermatozoa and ova) are brought together, in order to give birth to an embryo which will be implanted later in the uterus of the mother or the mother of a surrogate mother. ICSI is a technique that involves injecting the spermatozoon into the oocyte.

In Europe, Spain remains the most active country in terms of assisted procreation, with a record number of 119,875 treatments, ahead of Russia (110,723 cycles), Germany (96,512) and France (93,918). The clinics of the old continent continue to favor ICSI over IVF, a global trend. Pregnancy rates (measured by embryo transfer) seem to have stabilized in Europe at around 36% for IVF and ICSI. Pregnancy rates are higher with five-day embryos than with three-day embryos.

Video: Female fertility animation (February 2020).