Testicular cancer and sperm DNA damage: Short- and long-term effects of antineoplastic treatment

D. Paoli, M. Gallo, F. Rizzo, M. Spanò, G. Leter, F. Lombardo, A. Lenzi, L. Gandini

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate sperm DNA damage induced by chemo- and radiotherapy in patients with testicular cancer to provide data on the extent and persistence of nuclear damage that might affect individual reproductive potential. We evaluated pre- and post-antineoplastic treatment sperm DNA integrity, expressed as DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI), in a large caseload of testicular cancer patients by sperm chromatin structure assay. The mean total DFI for all patients at T0 was 18.0 ± 12.5%. Sperm chromatin profile was markedly impaired at T3 (27.7 ± 17.4%) and T6 (23.2 ± 15.3%), improving considerably at T12 and T24 (14.0 ± 8.9% and 14.4 ± 10.3%). After chemotherapy, we found a marked increase in DFI at T3 and T6 and a significant reduction at T12 and T24 in comparison with the baseline. In contrast, DFI increased at T3 and T6 after radiotherapy but the subsequent reduction was far less marked, reaching baseline values at T12 and T24. Finally, post-treatment DNA damage was not age or histotype dependent, but was more marked in the advanced stage of cancer. In this study, we showed that the chromatin profile may be affected in the months immediately following the end of the treatment, improving after 12-24 months. Our results thus indicate that post-treatment DNA damage is influenced both by the type and intensity of the therapy and by the pathological and clinical stage of the disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122 - 128
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Urology

Cite this

Paoli, D., Gallo, M., Rizzo, F., Spanò, M., Leter, G., Lombardo, F., ... Gandini, L. (2015). Testicular cancer and sperm DNA damage: Short- and long-term effects of antineoplastic treatment. Andrology, 3(1), 122 - 128. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2047-2927.2014.00250.x