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Keywords:

  • adolescents and young adults;
  • sperm banking;
  • sperm cryopreservation

Abstract

Background

Infertility is often a complication for adolescent and young adult males who receive cancer therapy, a problem that might be averted through using cryopreserved sperm. We aim to evaluate feasibility of offering newly diagnosed patients the opportunity to bank sperm and, to determine the beliefs and decision-making processes of patients and their parents who considered sperm banking.

Procedure

Eligible patients and parents were approached and offered sperm cryopreservation. Semen samples from patients who sequentially attempted sperm banking were analyzed. Questionnaires were then administered to patients and parents who had been approached about sperm banking.

Results

Semen samples from 68 patients were analyzed. Nine patients were azoospermic; all had been pre-treated with chemotherapy. Fifty patients completed the questionnaire. Parent and patient made the decision together to bank 80% of the time. All sons who attempted to bank and their parents felt they had made the right decision, including those who attempted but failed.

Conclusions

Viable sperm can be collected successfully from adolescent and young adults who are newly diagnosed with cancer. Semen quality was dramatically reduced by one course of gonadotoxic therapy. Parents and patients want information regarding sperm cryopreservation early. Parents appear to play an important role in the decision to sperm bank. We recommend sperm banking be offered to all eligible patients. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2008;50:594–598. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.