Pregnancy outcome of partners of male survivors of childhood cancer: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

J Clin Oncol. 2003 Feb 15;21(4):716-21. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2003.04.085.


Purpose: This study was undertaken to determine the effect, if any, on pregnancy loss, live births, and birthweight of treatment for cancer diagnosed during childhood or adolescence.

Patients and methods: We reviewed pregnancy outcome among sexually active male Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) participants who responded to a questionnaire before February 3, 2000. Medical records of all members of the cohort were abstracted to obtain chemotherapeutic agents administered, the cumulative dose of drug administered for several drugs of interest, and the doses, volumes, and dates of administration of all radiotherapy.

Results: There were 4,106 sexually active males; 1,227 reported they sired 2,323 pregnancies (69% live births, 1% stillbirths, 13% miscarriages, 13% abortions, 5% unknown or in gestation). The male-to-female ratio of the offspring of the partners of the male survivors was significantly different from that of the offspring of the partners of the male siblings of the survivors (1.0:1.03 v 1.24:1.0) (P =.016). The proportion of pregnancies of the partners of male survivors that ended with a liveborn infant was significantly lower than for the partners of the male siblings of the survivors who were the control group for comparison (relative risk = 0.77, P =.007). There were no significant differences in pregnancy outcome by treatment.

Conclusion: This large study did not identify adverse pregnancy outcomes for the partners of male survivors treated with most chemotherapeutic agents. The reversal of the sex ratio and the association observed for procarbazine warrant further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Birth Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Paternal Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antineoplastic Agents