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June 19, 1981

Cervical dysplasia incidence no higher in 'DES daughters'

JAMA. 1981;245(23):2384-2385. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310480008004

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A heartening report for young women whose mothers took diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy is that cervical dysplasia does not develop in them any more often than in a group of matched controls.

This was one of the findings of the National Cooperative Diethylstilbestrol Adenosis (DESAD) project that were presented at the 70th annual meeting of the International Academy of Pathology by Stanley J. Robboy, MD, associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Another interesting finding, although the exact meaning is unclear, was that rates of dysplasia in both the DES-exposed and control groups rise with the number of different sexual partners.

"We are not saying this is a venereal disease," Robboy explained, "but obviously we're going to need to look closely at this area, and this is a direction the DESAD project will take."

The cancer usually associated with DES exposure is clear cell carcinoma, whereas dysplasia