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Sperm DNA integrity in testicular cancer patients

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  • Sperm DNA integrity in testicular cancer patients

    This is the largest study on sperm DNA integrity in cancer patients, looks at radiation and chemo effects.

    Hum Reprod. 2006 Aug 24; [Epub ahead of print]
    Sperm DNA integrity in testicular cancer patients.Stahl O, Eberhard J, Jepson K, Spano M, Cwikiel M, Cavallin-Stahl E, Giwercman A.
    Department of Oncology, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden; Fertility Centre and Department of Urology, Scanian Andrology Centre, Malmo University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden.

    BACKGROUND: We evaluated the impact of testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC), its treatment and length of follow-up on sperm DNA integrity. METHODS: In 96 TGCC patients, semen was collected at specific intervals until 5 years after treatment. Sperm DNA integrity was assessed by the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA, n = 193) and by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL, n = 159) assay. Results were expressed as DNA fragmentation index (DFI). Controls comprised of 278 military conscripts. RESULTS: Post-surgery testicular cancer (TC) patients did not differ from controls. Compared with pretreatment values, radiotherapy induced a transient increase in SCSADFI (medians: 12 versus 19%; P = 0.03), normalizing after 3-5 years. One year or more after therapy, 5/13 (38%) of normozoospermic, irradiated patients had SCSADFI >27% compared with 7% of normozoospermic controls (P = 0.002). More than two cycles of chemotherapy decreased DFI 3-5 years post-therapy (median SCSADFI: 12 versus 9.1%, P = 0.02; median TUNELDFI: 11 versus 7.5%, P = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Irradiation increases sperm DNA damage 1-2 years after treatment, and 38% of irradiated patients with normozoospermia had high (>27%) DNA damage, which may affect the sperm-fertilizing ability. TC per se is not associated with an increase of DFI, and DFI is reduced by three or more cycles of chemotherapy.

    PMID: 16931803 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.