Sperm nuclear apoptotic DNA fragmentation in men with testicular cancer

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Objective: To verify whether sperm from patients with a seminoma and patients with a non-seminoma present with an increased rate of apoptotic DNA fragmentation, when compared with men without testicular cancer and who had fathered a child in the 2 years preceding the study. Design: Controlled prospective study. Setting: Patients referred to a sperm bank in an academic research environment. Patient(s): Men with a diagnosed seminoma, men with a diagnosed non-seminoma, both after orchiectomy and before adjuvant therapy, and men with proven paternity in the 2 previous years. Main Outcome Measure(s): Rate of nuclear apoptotic sperm DNA fragmentation as assessed by TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling) assay, classified as positive (with DNA fragmentation) or negative (without DNA fragmentation). Result(s): Of the 48 men with testicular cancer included in the study, 29 (60.4%) presented a non-seminoma and 19 (39.6%) a seminoma. Patients with non-seminoma presented with lower progressive sperm motility than the control group (57.4% and 66.3%, respectively), but both were still within normal ranges. Sperm concentration was lower in seminoma (31.2 × 106/mL) and in non-seminoma (20.6 × 106/mL) when compared with the control group (78.1 × 106/mL), but values did not differ between the two testicular cancer groups. Sperm morphology was lower in patients with non-seminoma than in the control group (10% and 13.1%, respectively). Results for sperm nuclear apoptotic DNA fragmentation (mean; standard deviation) were 12.6%; 4.5% for the control group, 12.2%; 5.5% for the non-seminoma group, and 12.5%; 6.4% for the seminoma group. No differences were found between the three groups. Conclusion(s): Our results demonstrate that the presence of a seminoma or a non-seminoma is not associated with an increase in sperm apoptotic DNA fragmentation. © 2008 American Society for Reproductive Medicine.




Ribeiro, T. M., Bertolla, R. P., Spaine, D. M., Fraietta, R., Ortiz, V., & Cedenho, A. P. (2008). Sperm nuclear apoptotic DNA fragmentation in men with testicular cancer. Fertility and Sterility, 90(5), 1782–1786. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.08.012

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