Boys who survive cancer may maintain fertility


A stem-cell based intervention for treating infertility has been successfully demonstrated in non-human primates. This is an important step toward developing the method for humans. This is a particularly important breakthrough for translating the strategy from lab to clinic for male cancer survivors who have been rendered infertile by chemotherapy received before reaching sexual maturity. According to the report, this work “constitutes a milestone in the field of reproduction, and generates hope for restoring fertility in survivors of childhood cancer.”

Infertility could be over for boys with cancer

“This is the first study to demonstrate that transplanted spermatogonial stem cells can produce functional sperm in higher primates,” said senior study author Kyle Orwig of the University of Pitts burgh and Magee-Women’s research Institute. “This is an important step toward human translation.”

A promising option for preserving fertility

Infertility is a common side effect for many cancer patients to use radiation therapy or chemotherapy to treat their disease. The treatments damage dividing cells, including not only cancer cells, but also spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). These are the cells that eventually develop into sperm. Adult men can cryopreserve their sperm for future use, but for young men who have yet to achieve sexual maturity, this is not an option and fertility is permanently lost.

Sperm cells developed and functioned normally

In a new study, researchers cryopreserved SSCs prior to primates undergoing cancer therapies. They were later transplanted after treatment was finished. They found that the cells produced sperm in the majority of transplant recipients. More importantly, the SSC-derived sperm of one animal fertilized egg cells and produced embryos that developed normally.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Cell Stem Cell


The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. See our Legal Statement for more details.

Fertility Clinics Directory

Find a Fertility Clinic

If you or a loved one is suffering from infertility and needs help conceiving then we are here to offer help in any way we can. We have over 450 Fertility Clinics listed on our Directory. Click here to search for a Fertility Clinic that is right for you.