Background: Few risk factors have been established for childhood germ cell tumors (GCT). Parental infertility and infertility treatment may be associated with GCT development but these risk factors have not been fully investigated. Methods: A case-control study of childhood GCT was conducted through the Children's Oncology Group (COG). Cases, under the age of 15 years at diagnosis, were recruited through COG institutions from January 1993 to December 2002. Controls were obtained through random digit dialing. Information about infertility and infertility treatment along with demographic factors was collection through maternal interviews. Subgroups created by gender, age at diagnosis, and tumor location were examined separately. Statistical analysis was performed using multivariate logistic regression models. Results: Overall, no association between GCT and infertility or its treatment was found. In subgroup analysis, females whose mothers had two or more fetal losses were found to be at increased risk for non-gonadal tumors (Odds ratio (OR)=3.32, 95% Confidence interval (CI)=1.12-9.88). Younger maternal age was associated with a lower risk of gonadal GCT in females (OR=0.52, 95% CI=0.28-0.96). There was an increased risk of all GCT and gonadal GCT in males born to older mothers (OR=2.88, 95% CI=1.13-7.37 and OR=3.70, 95% CI=1.12-12.24). Conclusion: While no association between parental infertility or its treatment and childhood GCT was found overall, possible associations with maternal age and history of recurrent fetal loss were found in subgroups defined by gender.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [ R01CA067263 , U10CA98413 , U10CA13539 and U10CA98543 ]; and the Children's Cancer Research Fund (Minneapolis, Minnesota).
- Germ cell tumor