Birth characteristics and childhood malignant central nervous sytem tumors: the ESCALE study (French Society for Childhood Cancer)

Cancer Detect Prev. 2008;32(1):79-86. doi: 10.1016/j.cdp.2008.02.003. Epub 2008 Apr 8.


Background: Determining the role of pre- and perinatal factors in the aetiology of childhood malignant central nervous (CNS) tumors, using data from the French national case-control study, ESCALE.

Methods: ESCALE included all children in France less than 15 years old with a diagnosis of acute leukaemia, lymphoma, malignant CNS tumor, or neuroblastoma (2003-2004). In all, 209 malignant CNS tumor cases (80% of the eligible cases) and 1681 population-based controls (71%) were included using quotas ensuring frequency matching with the cases by age and gender. Case and control mothers were interviewed using a standardised telephone interview, which elicited birth characteristics, congenital malformation, maternal reproductive history, and use of assisted reproductive technologies for the index child.

Results: The cases and controls did not differ in terms of gestational age at birth, birth weight, birth order, breastfeeding, or parental age at birth. There was no association between assisted reproduction for the index child and malignant CNS tumor (OR=1.1 [0.6-2.2]). A positive association between a maternal history of one miscarriage and malignant CNS tumor was observed (OR=1.4 [1.0-2.0], p<0.05), especially for glial cell tumors (other glioma: OR=2.0 [1.1-3.6]).

Conclusion: The results suggest a possible association between a maternal history of one miscarriage and the risk of malignant CNS tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Birth Weight*
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Gestational Age*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Paternal Age
  • Reproductive History*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk*