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Cancer Causes Control. 2005 Sep;16(7):877-91.

Maternal diet during pregnancy and its association with medulloblastoma in children: a children's oncology group study (United States).

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  • 1Oncology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Fruit, vegetables, vitamin C, and folate during pregnancy have been suggested as protective factors for medulloblastoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET), a common brain tumor in children. The authors sought to replicate these findings and investigate other aspects of diet. Mothers of 315 cases under age six at diagnosis and 315 controls were interviewed about their pregnancy diet. The authors observed modest, inverse associations for fruits/juices (odds ratio (OR) for highest compared to lowest category = 0.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.3, 1.1) and vitamin C (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4, 1.1). In contrast to the previous study, folate and vegetables showed no association. As hypothesized, cured meats were not associated with medulloblastoma/PNET, in contrast to other childhood brain tumors. An inverse association with non-fresh peaches and similar fruits (OR = 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3, 0.8) and a positive association with non-chocolate candy (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.0) replicated previous findings. French fries (OR = 2.4, 95% CI: 1.2, 4.9) and chili peppers (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.0) were associated with medulloblastoma/PNET. The results suggest that some aspects of diet are worthy of further research.

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