Sperm banking before treatment preserves fertility in young male cancer patients

Armen Hareyan's picture

Cancer Treatment and Fertility

Offers male cancer survivors a chance to father children of their own, after potentially fertility-damaging treatment

A recent study at Hamilton Health Sciences proves that sperm freezing and banking is an effective way to preserve fertility in adolescents and young adult (AYA) males with cancer.


Researchers at the Centre for Reproductive Care, McMaster Children's Hospital and the Juravinski Cancer Centre, all members of the Hamilton Health Sciences family of health care facilities, joined forces to investigate the benefits of proactively preserving sperm prior to starting cancer treatment in order to allow male cancer patients the opportunity to father biological children in the future.

In AYA male cancer patients, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy may cause transient or permanent infertility by affecting either ejaculatory or erectile function or by impairing the generation of sperm. ("The effects of cancer and cancer treatments on male reproductive function" by Drs Magelssen, Brydoy and Fossa).

According to a new study to be published in the September 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, and available on-line today, lead author Michael Neal, Laboratory Director at the Centre for Reproductive Care, and his co-investigators, found that even though sperm freezing is shown to be highly effective, it is an underutilized option of fertility preservation for young male cancer patients.

The study, "Effectiveness of Sperm Banking in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer