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Cancer: Children

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL2056, tabled on 5 September 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the study in PLOS Medicine, Cancer in children born after frozen-thawed embryo transfer: A cohort study, published on 1 September, which reported an increase in the cancer incidence in children born as a result of frozen-thawed embryo transfer; and what steps they are taking to facilitate a follow up to that study by means of controlled comparisons with larger samples.

Answered on

3 October 2022

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the findings in the PLOS Medicine study should be interpreted with caution, as the number of children born after frozen-thawed embryo transfer in the study who later developed cancer, was very low; 30.1 in 100,000 births.

The HFEA’s expert Scientific and Clinical Advances Advisory Committee monitors new studies relating to assisted reproductive technologies, including any impact on children born from treatments. This can lead the HFEA to recommend new information for patients regarding the risks of any treatment.