Sperm DNA Integrity in Men Treated for Childhood Cancer.

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PURPOSE: It is unknown whether childhood cancer and its treatment are associated with sperm DNA damage, which subsequently affects fertility and might be transmitted to the offspring. The aim of this study was to assess DNA fragmentation index (DFI) as an indicator of sperm DNA integrity in childhood cancer survivors (CCS), treatment regimen taken into account.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In 99 CCS and 193 age-matched healthy controls, the DFI was assessed by the use of Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay.RESULTS: In the whole group of CCS DFI was increased as compared to the controls with borderline statistical significance (mean difference=0.94%; 95%CI: -0.0088; 3.7%). Those treated with radiotherapy only (mean difference=6.0%; 95%CI: 1.6; 10%) or surgery only (mean difference=2.9%; 95%CI: 0.083; 3.7%) had statistically significantly higher DFI than the controls. The odds ratio (OR) for having DFI >20%, which is associated with reduced fertility, was significantly increased in CCS as compared to the control group (OR=2.2, 95%CI: 1.1; 4.4). For the radiotherapy only group the OR was even higher (OR=4.9, 95%CI 1.3; 18). The DFI was not associated to the dose of scattered testicular irradiation or the type of chemotherapy given.CONCLUSIONS: The DFI is increased in CCS, those treated with chemotherapy being the only exception. This sperm DNA impairment may be associated with the disease per se rather than due to the treatment and may have negative consequences in terms of fertility and risk of transmission to the offspring.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3843-3850
JournalClinical Cancer Research
VolumeJul 1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch