Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surgical technique helps adult male survivors of childhood cancer regain fertility

Date:
March 15, 2011
Source:
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Summary:
A new study has shown that a surgical technique called microdissection testicular sperm extraction can effectively locate and extract viable sperm in more than one-third of adult male childhood cancer survivors who were previously considered sterile due to prior chemotherapy treatment.

A new study has shown that a surgical technique called microdissection testicular sperm extraction (TESE) can effectively locate and extract viable sperm in more than one-third of adult male childhood cancer survivors who were previously considered sterile due to prior chemotherapy treatment. As a result, many of the men were subsequently able to father children with the help of in vitro fertilization.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, offer a new option for many cancer survivors who want to have children but were thought infertile because of earlier cancer treatment.

"It was previously assumed that most male survivors of childhood cancer whose semen contained little to no viable sperm were incapable of fathering children. This study demonstrates that some of these men do in fact still produce healthy sperm, and that this technique can help men experience parenthood," said senior author Peter Schlegel, MD, chairman of the Department of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College and urologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.

Most adult men who received certain types of chemotherapy in childhood or adolescence have traditionally been considered infertile. Although some will regain their fertility up to several years after treatment, as many as two-thirds will be permanently left with very low sperm counts, a condition known as azoospermia.

Microdissection TESE enables doctors to identify small areas in the testicles where sperm are made and then carefully extract these healthy sperm cells, even in men whose testicles have been severely damaged by chemotherapy. In this study, 1,072 TESE procedures were performed between 1995 and 2009 on 892 patients with azoospermia. This group included a subgroup of 73 former cancer patients an average of 19 years after receiving chemotherapy.

Researchers were able to retrieve sperm in 37 percent (27 of 73) of male cancer survivors and in 42.9 percent of individual procedures. They subsequently applied an in vitro fertilization technique, called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), to fertilize an egg with a single sperm. This resulted in slightly more than a 57 percent fertilization rate, a pregnancy rate of 50 percent (18 of 36), and the births of 20 children. Schlegel and his co-authors believe this is the largest group of men who have had microdissection TESE-ICSI after chemotherapy to date.

The investigators found that sperm retrieval rates differed according to the type of chemotherapy the men received. Men who received platinum drugs, such as those who were treated for testicular cancer, had the highest rate of sperm retrieval at 85 percent. Men treated with alkylating agents such as cyclophosphamide, had lower sperm retrieval rates ranging from 26 percent to 36 percent; this group mainly consisted of men treated for lymphoma. Men treated for sarcoma had the lowest retrieval rate, at only 14 percent.

"When we started this study, we thought sperm retrieval rates would be close to zero among the group of cancer survivors, but we were surprised to discover that in many cases small areas of testicular tissue survived and resumed sperm production over a period of several years," Schlegel said. "Even in this situation where we thought sperm production had ceased, there still may be an opportunity for fertility with the use of assisted reproductive techniques like this one."

Schlegel noted that freezing and preserving sperm prior to chemotherapy for later use � sperm banking � is an important and frequently possible option for males diagnosed with cancer. However, it remains underused for a number of reasons, including poor sperm quality, young age, cost and a desire to promptly start chemotherapy treatment. The investigators recommend that doctors offer the option to adolescents and men before starting chemotherapy, even if the chance of the treatment affecting sperm production appears small. In addition, male cancer survivors who have had chemotherapy may also become fathers through adoption and the use of sperm donors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Clinical Oncology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wayland Hsiao, Peter J. Stahl, E. Charles Osterberg, Edward Nejat, Gianpiero D. Palermo, Zev Rosenwaks, and Peter N. Schlegel. Successful Treatment of Postchemotherapy Azoospermia With Microsurgical Testicular Sperm Extraction: The Weill Cornell Experience. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2011; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2010.33.7808

Cite This Page:

American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Surgical technique helps adult male survivors of childhood cancer regain fertility." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314140628.htm>.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. (2011, March 15). Surgical technique helps adult male survivors of childhood cancer regain fertility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314140628.htm
American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Surgical technique helps adult male survivors of childhood cancer regain fertility." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314140628.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins