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Volume 15, Issue 3 (May 2013) 15, 425–429; 10.1038/aja.2012.171

Effects of oncological treatments on semen quality in patients with testicular neoplasia or lymphoproliferative disorders

Cataldo Di Bisceglie, Angela Bertagna, Emanuela R Composto, Fabio Lanfranco, Matteo Baldi, Giovanna Motta, Anna M Barberis, Emanuela Napolitano, Elena Castellano and Chiara Manieri

Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism; Unit of Andrology, Seminology and Cryopreservation, G.I.D.; Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin 10126, Italy

Correspondence: Dr C Di Bisceglie, (cataldo.dibisceglie@unito.it)

Received 25 September 2012; Revised 8 December 2012; Accepted 20 January 2013 Advance online publication 1 April 2013


Pretherapy sperm cryopreservation in young men is currently included in good clinical practice guidelines for cancer patients. The aim of this paper is to outline the effects of different oncological treatments on semen quality in patients with testicular neoplasia or lymphoproliferative disorders, based on an 8-year experience of the Cryopreservation Centre of a large public hospital. Two hundred and sixty-one patients with testicular neoplasia and 219 patients with lymphoproliferative disorders who underwent chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and pretherapy semen cryopreservation were evaluated. Sperm and hormonal parameters (follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, inhibin B levels) were assessed prior to and 6, 12, 18, 24 and 36 months after the end of cancer treatment. At the time of sperm collection, baseline FSH level and sperm concentration were impaired to a greater extent in patients with malignant testicular neoplasias than in patients with lymphoproliferative disorders. Toxic effects on spermatogenesis were still evident at 6 and 12 months after the end of cancer therapies, while an improvement of seminal parameters was observed after 18 months. In conclusion, an overall increase in sperm concentration was recorded about 18 months after the end of cancer treatments in the majority of patients, even if it was not possible to predict the evolution of each single case ‘a priori’. For this reason, pretherapy semen cryopreservation should be considered in all young cancer patients.

Keywords: chemoradiotherapy; lymphoproliferative disorders; semen analysis; semen cryopreservation; testicular neoplasia

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