Dr. Gleicher weighs in on cancer risk to IVF babies

Reuters’ writer Lisa Rapaport reported on a recent study that found elevated risks of certain very rare childhood cancers in children conceived via IVF. Authors of the study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, explained that the absolute risks were still extremely low and parents shouldn’t lose sleep over the possibility or avoid fertility treatments altogether.

The article quoted Norbert Gleicher, MD, CHR’s Medical Director and Chief Scientist, who said that the elevated risk of cancer may be caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs and embryos, which rise as women age.

“Couples considering IVF shouldn’t let the slight risk of childhood cancer influence their decisions,” however, Dr. Gleicher advised, as “there are risks in IVF but they are very low (as far as we can see so far) and, therefore, worth taking” when benefits are considered.

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.