Advertisement

AUA 2015: Sperm Banking Rates Increase With Fertility Counseling for Cancer Patients

Advertisement

Key Points

  • Of men who received counseling, 16.7% underwent sperm banking, compared with 6.2% of men who did not receive counseling.
  • The odds of sperm banking increased 2.9 times for those who received fertility counseling.
  • Men who did not yet have any children were 3.8 times more likely to bank their sperm.

Fertility counseling for men with cancer, prior to initiating treatment, can increase the rate of sperm preservation, according to a new survey by Rotker et al presented during the 110th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA; Abstract PD52-11).

Chemotherapy can cause infertility in men, affect the quality and number of sperm produced, and can be temporary or permanent. If it is temporary, men will become fertile again once they have finished treatment, but this may vary by person. However, despite the understanding that chemotherapy can lead to permanent infertility, many clinicians fail to incorporate fertility preservation for cancer patients prior to treatment. With this in mind, researchers at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University compared the likelihood of newly diagnosed cancer patients preserving their sperm after receiving a formalized fertility counseling session vs those who did not.

Research Findings

Evaluating a single institution, researchers conducted a retrospective chart review of 411 men, with an average age of 42.3 years. The men had been newly diagnosed with cancer between 1998 and 2003, prior to the start of their chemotherapy treatment. The study found a significant increase in sperm banking rates among patients who received fertility counseling as part of a standardized nursing education program, compared with those who did not—the odds of sperm banking increased 2.9 times for those who received counseling. Among patients who did not have children, the odds of banking their sperm increased 3.8 times.

Further research showed nearly one-quarter (23.4%) of the 411 men studied received fertility counseling, and of them, 16.7% underwent sperm banking. Of the 321 men who did not receive counseling, 6.2% underwent banking.

“These findings shed light on one of the many important roles counseling plays for newly diagnosed cancer patients,” explained Tobias Köhler, MD, MPH, FACS, who moderated a discussion about the research during the meeting. “Often fertility preservation is the last thing on a patient’s mind when diagnosed with cancer, so it is particularly important to implement counseling and education services prior to the initiation of treatment.”

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


Advertisement

Advertisement



Advertisement