BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4371 (Published 27 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4371

Scientists used genetic tracking to prove that a baby who developed leukaemia received the cancer cells across the placenta. The mother was diagnosed with leukaemia just after delivery and a genetic analysis of the 11 month old girl showed a clonal match with her mother’s cancer cells. Cancer cells were subsequently detected in a blood sample taken from the baby at birth. These maternally derived cells were missing a section of DNA that ordinarily might have prompted the baby’s immune system to eliminate them (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2009;106:17882-5, doi:10.1073/pnas.0904658106).

A word of warning for women thinking about undergoing uterine artery embolisation to treat fibroids if they wish to conceive in the future (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist 2009;11:265-70, doi:10.1576/toag. A review of retrospective and prospective data showed an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, caesarean section, malpresentation, and postpartum haemorrhage in …

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