Sperm Banking Among Adolescents Newly Diagnosed with Cancer: Development of a Profiling and Referral Tool (SBANK10)
Why was this study done?
Survival rates among pediatric cancer patients have increased to more than 80% since the 1960s. But the life-saving therapies can lead to many chronic health conditions, including infertility. Results from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study show that 46% of male childhood cancer survivors are infertile. As early as adolescence, cancer patients report having children among their top three life goals. They are concerned that treatment affects that possibility.
In this study researchers wanted to learn what factors are important to cancer patients and their families when making decisions about banking sperm to preserve fertility.
The study’s main goals were to:
- Learn what factors best predict why adolescents newly diagnosed with cancer choose to bank sperm or decide against it
- Use these factors to develop a tool to increase sperm banking among these patients
When was this study done?
The study opened in July 2010 and closed in June 2014.
What did the study consist of?
The study consisted of separate 20-minute surveys for the patient and their parent or caregiver.
- Completed the surveys during the first week after beginning cancer treatment
- Answered questions on their general thoughts about banking sperm
- Answered questions about sperm banking concerns and benefits as well as their thoughts about the risk of infertility
- Answered questions regarding their development and readiness to take part in sperm banking
The parent or guardian completed a separate survey.
What did we learn from this study?
Parents’ opinions on sperm banking play an important role among adolescent males who are newly diagnosed with cancer. When a parent supports their son to bank sperm it is more likely that the adolescent will attempt sperm banking. The study also showed the value of clear communication among parents, patients and health care teams when discussing banking options. In addition, parents’ beliefs about their ability to encourage sperm banking should be considered in future studies.
What are the next research steps as a result of this study?
Scientists will continue to study ways to improve the health-related quality of life and fertility options for children receiving cancer treatment.
How does this study affect my child?
Every childhood cancer survivor should receive long-term follow-up care. Through the St. Jude After Completion of Care clinic, your child will receive information and guidance for care after treatment. Please speak with your St. Jude doctor about specific guidelines that apply to your child.
For more information
Please talk with your child’s St. Jude doctor about questions or concerns you have as a result of this study.
Publications generated from this study:
Parental influences on sperm banking attempts among adolescent males newly diagnosed with cancer. Klosky JL, Flynn JS, Lehmann V, Russell KM, Wang F, Hardin RN, Eddinger JR, Zhang H, Schenck LA, Schover LR. Fertil Steril. 2017 Dec;108(6):1043-1049. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2017.08.039.