A SINGLE round of chemotherapy does not harm fertility in patients with testicular cancer, research has shown.
A study found the treatment does not reduce sperm count.
However, several rounds of chemo does.
Scientists in Stockholm, Sweden, monitored 182 men who had a testicle removed after cancer.
Sperm concentration had decreased six months after radiotherapy, but not for chemo.
But the sperm count in radiotherapy candidates then rose.
ead author Dr Kristina Weibring, of the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, said: “To our knowledge, no such study has been done before.
“We found no clinically significant detrimental long-term effect in either total sperm number or sperm concentration, irrespective of the type of postoperative treatment received.
“Among men who received radiotherapy, there was a distinct decrease in average sperm number and concentration six months after treatment, though not in those who received chemotherapy.
“However, sperm number and concentration recovered in the radiotherapy group after six months, and continued to increase in all groups up to five years after treatment.”
Professor Fabrice André, Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France, added: “This study, together with other research efforts, explores the paths to recovering a normal life after cancer.
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“The finding that one course of chemotherapy has minimal impact on sperm count offers hope for thousands of patients worldwide.
“We all must keep in mind that these data are preliminary and will require validation before we can use them in clinics.
“The next step will be to establish how to predict the toxic effects on sperm count of different chemotherapy regimens.”