Risk of childhood germ cell tumors in association with parental smoking and drinking




The etiology of childhood germ cell tumors (GCT) is not well understood. The Children's Oncology Group conducted the largest case–control study of childhood GCT to investigate whether parental exposures to smoking and alcohol contributed to the disease.


Cases included 274 children with GCT diagnosed between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 2001 who were age < 15 years. Controls (n = 421) were selected by random digit dialing and were frequency matched based on gender, age (±1 year), and geographic area. Exposure information was collected from subjects' parents using independent telephone interviews and self-administrated questionnaires.


No association was found between parental smoking or drinking alcohol and risk of childhood GCT (for smoking: odds ratio [OR] = 1.0, 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.8–1.3 and OR = 1.2, 95% CI, 0.9–1.5, for mothers and fathers, respectively; for drinking: OR = 0.9, 95% CI, 0.7–1.2 and OR = 1.0, 95% CI, 0.8–1.3, for mothers and fathers, respectively). No significant trend was observed for length of maternal exposure to passive smoking during the index pregnancy and GCT risk (for total subject: P = 0.77; boys: P = 0.52; girls: P = 0.93).


The authors found no evidence that childhood GCT was related to prenatal exposure to parental cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and maternal passive smoking. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.