Journal Article

Paternity Following Treatment for Testicular Cancer

Marianne Brydøy, Sophie D. Fosså, Olbjørn Klepp, Roy M. Bremnes, Erik A. Wist, Tore Wentzel-Larsen and Olav Dahl

in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Volume 97, issue 21, pages 1580-1588
Published in print November 2005 | ISSN: 0027-8874
Published online November 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2105 | DOI:

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Background: Studies of fertility in men treated for testicular cancer have mainly addressed serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels and sperm parameters. We assessed post-treatment paternity among long-term survivors of testicular cancer. Methods: Men (n = 1814) who had been treated for unilateral testicular cancer in Norway during 1980 through 1994 were invited to participate in a national multi-center follow-up survey in 1998 through 2002. The participants were allocated to five groups according to the treatment received after orchiectomy, including treatment at relapse (surveillance, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, radiotherapy, low-dose chemotherapy [i.e., ≤850 mg cisplatin], and high-dose chemotherapy [i.e., >850 mg cisplatin]). Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to assess predictive factors for post-treatment paternity. Statistical tests were two-sided. Results: A total of 1433 men were assessable, of whom 827 were fathers at diagnosis. Post-treatment conception was attempted by 554 men, among whom the overall 15-year actuarial post-treatment paternity rate was 71% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 66% to 75%) without the use of cryopreserved semen. This rate ranged from 48% (95% CI = 30% to 69%) in the high-dose chemotherapy group to 92% (95% CI = 78% to 98%) in the surveillance group (P<.001). The median actuarial time from diagnosis to the birth of the first child after treatment was 6.6 years overall but varied according to treatment. Assisted reproductive technologies were used by 22% of the couples who attempted conception after treatment. Dry ejaculation, treatment group, pretreatment fatherhood, and marital status were statistically significant independent predictors for post-treatment fatherhood, with dry ejaculation as the most important negative factor. Conclusions: Although the overall paternity rate after treatment for testicular cancer was high, the ability to conceive and the time to conception reflected the intensity of treatment. These data may help inform patients about their future ability to father biological children.

Journal Article.  8228 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology

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