Infantile neuroblastoma and maternal occupational exposure to medical agents

2021-07-09

Background: Healthcare workers are often exposed to hazardous agents and are at risk for adverse health consequences that affect not only themselves but also their infants. This study aimed to examine whether such occupational exposure increased the risk of childhood cancer in offspring.

Methods: We used the dataset of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, a nationwide birth cohort involving over 100,000 mother-child pairs. Information was obtained via successive questionnaires that were completed until the child turned 1 year of age. The parents were asked whether they occupationally handled medical agents during pregnancy. Results: A total of 26 infants developed neoplasms: neuroblastoma, leukemia, and brain tumor. The incidence of neuroblastoma was significantly higher in infants whose mothers were exposed to radiation (3/2142: 140.1 per 100,000 population) than in those who were not (12/90,384: 13.3 per 100,000 population). Multivariable regression analyses revealed a close association between maternal irradiation and the development of neuroblastoma (adjusted incident rate ratio: 10.68 [95% confidence interval: 2.98‒38.27]). Conclusions: The present study demonstrated, for the first time, a potential association between maternal occupational exposure and the occurrence of neuroblastoma in offspring. Further studies involving the large pediatric cancer registries are needed to confirm these preliminary results.

Impact: Healthcare workers are often exposed to hazardous agents and are at risk for adverse health consequences that affect not only themselves but also their infants. This study examined the association between such occupational exposure and offspring’s cancers that developed until the age of 1 year. Maternal exposure to ionizing radiation was associated with infantile neuroblastoma in offspring. Further studies involving the large pediatric cancer registries are needed to confirm these preliminary results.

Authors: Yuhki Koga, Masafumi Sanefuji, Syunichiro Toya, Utako Oba, Kentaro Nakashima, Hiroaki Ono, Shunsuke Yamamoto, Maya Suzuki, Yuri Sonoda, Masanobu Ogawa, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Koichi Kusuhara, Shouichi Ohga, Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) Group, Michihiro Kamijima, Shin Yamazaki, Yukihiro Ohya, Reiko Kishi, Nobuo Yaegashi, Koichi Hashimoto, Chisato Mori, Shuichi Ito, Zentaro Yamagata, Hidekuni Inadera, Takeo Nakayama, Hiroyasu Iso, Masayuki Shima, Youichi Kurozawa, Narufumi Suganuma, Koichi Kusuhara, Takahiko Katoh
; Full Source: Pediatric research 2021 Jul 9. doi: 10.1038/s41390-021-01634-z.