We studied the fecundity of 174 successive ALL (1987-2007) in females of the Childhood Cancer Registry of the Rhône-Alpes Region (ARCERRA) with a median age at follow-up of 25.6 years (18.0-37.4). We distinguished five treatment groups: Group Ia, chemotherapy only (n = 130); Ib, chemotherapy with cranial radiotherapy (n = 10); II, TBI conditioning allograft (n = 27); III, chemotherapy conditioning allograft (n = 4); IV, TBI conditioning autograft (n = 3). Twenty-three women had their first child at the mean age of 25.8 ±3.0 years, i.e., 2.0 ±2.9 years earlier than the general population of the Rhône-Alpes region (P = 0.003). The standardized fertility ratio (SFR), expressed as the number of actual births observed (O) to the number that would be expected in women of the same age in the general population (E) (SFR = O/E) was decreased for Group Ia (0.62; 95%CI, 0.52-0.74) and collapsed in Group II (0.17; 0.11-0.25). In univariate analysis, TBI (P = 0.013) and alkylating agents (P = 0.01) were negatively correlated with fecundity, but not with the age at diagnosis or the anthracyclines doses. In multivariate analysis including TBI and alkylating agents, we still found a negative correlation between TBI (P = 0.035), as well as alkylating agents (P = 0.028), and fecundity. More precisely, fecundity was negatively correlated with cumulative cyclophosphamide equivalent dose (P = 0.001), with a fecundity decreased for ≥1g/m(2), but without any dose effect; results not found in the Group Ia. Age at first child seems younger but the young median age of the cohort not allows concluding; fecundity is collapsed after fractionated total body irradiation and decreased after chemotherapy without any demonstrable cause. A delay of fertility is not excluded.
Keywords: childhood leukemia; cohort studies; fecundity; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; total body irradiation.