Effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on spermatogenesis in humans

Short- and long-term effects of radiotherapy, cytotoxic cancer chemotherapy, and biologic targeted therapies on human spermatogenesis are summarized and interpreted based on kinetics of spermatogenesis and recovery from stem cells.

Like Comment

Authors

Marvin L. Meistrich, Ph.D.

Volume 100, Issue 5, Pages 1180-1186, November 2013

Abstract

Treatment of cancer with chemo- or radiotherapy causes reduction of sperm counts often to azoospermic levels that may persist for several years or be permanent. The time course of declines in sperm count can be predicted by the sensitivity of germ cells, with differentiating spermatogonia being most sensitive, and the known kinetics of recovery. Recovery from oligo- or azoospermia is more variable and depends on whether there is killing of stem cells and alteration of the somatic environment that normally supports differentiation of stem cells. Of the cytotoxic therapeutic agents, radiation and most alkylating drugs are the most potent at producing long-term azoospermia. Most of the newer biologic targeted therapies, except those used to target radioisotopes or toxins to cells, seem to have only modest effects, mostly on the endocrine aspects of the male reproductive system; however, their effects when used in combination with cytotoxic agents have not been well studied.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(13)02955-5/fulltext


Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

No comments yet.