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Volume 20, Issue 4 (July 2018) 20, 336–341; 10.4103/aja.aja_74_17

Current status of sperm banking for young cancer patients in Japanese nationwide survey

Yasushi Yumura1, Akira Tsujimura2, Hiroshi Okada3, Kuniaki Ota4, Masahumi Kitazawa5, Tatsuya Suzuki6, Tosiyuki Kakinuma7, Seido Takae8, Nao Suzuki8, Teruaki Iwamoto9

1 Reproduction Center, Yokohama City University, Medical Center, Yokohama 232-0024, Japan
2 Department of Urology, Juntendo University Urayasu Hospital, Chiba 279-0021, Japan
3 Department of Urology, Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital, Saitama 343-8555, Japan
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nasu Red Cross Hospital, Tochigi 324-8686, Japan
5 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dokkyo Medical University, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan
6 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan
7 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, International University of Health and Welfare, Tochigi 329-2763, Japan
8 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Marianna University, School of Medicine, Kawasaki 216-8511, Japan
9 Division Male Infertility, Center for Human Reproduction, International University of Health and Welfare, Sanno Hospital, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan

Correspondence: Dr. Y Yumura (yumura@yokohama‑cu.ac.jp)

Date of Submission 15-Aug-2017 Date of Acceptance 30-Nov-2017 Date of Web Publication 02-Feb-2018


This study aimed to ascertain the current status of Japanese sperm banking for young cancer patients. During 2015, we mailed the directors of 695 institutes where sperm cryopreservation might be performed with questionnaires requesting information on the number of patients, age, precryopreservation chemotherapy, semen analyses results and diagnoses, cryopreservation success rate, and causes of unsuccessful cryopreservation. Of these 695 institutes, 92 had cryopreserved sperm before chemotherapy within the study period. In all, 820 cancer patients (237 testicular, 383 hematological, 46 bone and soft tissue, 20 brain, and 134 other malignancy) consulted the responding institutes for sperm cryopreservation. Except for testicular tumor, the number of patients whose sperm was preserved before cancer treatment was low compared to that of young cancer patients. Approximately 20% of patients with malignancies other than testicular tumor underwent chemotherapy before cryopreservation. The success rate of cryopreservation in hematological malignancy was 82.5%, significantly lower than that of both the testicular cancer (93.6%) and other malignancy groups (95.6%) (P < 0.05). The primary reasons for preservation failure were azoospermia and poor semen quality. Patients with hematological malignancies had a higher rate of unsuccessful cryopreservation compared to those in other groups, possibly due to the large number of patients requesting sperm cryopreservation after chemotherapy induction. In Japan, information regarding sperm banking prior to cancer treatment appears to be lacking. Information regarding sperm preservation before chemotherapy should be provided to all Japanese oncologists.

Keywords: cancer; chemotherapy; fertility preservation; sperm preservation; survey

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