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J Clin Oncol. 1993 Feb;11(2):239-47.

Long-term reduction in sperm count after chemotherapy with and without radiation therapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

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Department of Clinical Radiotherapy, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol 1993 May;11(5):1007.



Treatment of lymphomas with combination chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy (XRT) can result in long-term or permanent azoospermia.


Semen analyses of lymphoma patients were performed before, during, and after treatment with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone, and bleomycin (CHOP-Bleo) chemotherapy. Some of the patients also received other drugs or radiation therapy.


Although no patients were azoospermic before treatment, all were rendered azoospermic during treatment. Following the completion of treatment, the fraction of patients whose sperm counts recovered increased gradually over 5 years and plateaued by 7 years, with two thirds of the men achieving normospermic levels. Scattered gonadal radiation dose and cumulative cyclophosphamide dose were found to be independently significant determinants of recovery: the fraction of patients whose sperm counts recovered to 10 x 10(6)/mL were 83%, 47%, and 20% for those who received less than 9.5 g/m2 of cyclophosphamide, greater than 9.5 g/m2 of cyclophosphamide, and pelvic XRT, respectively. The inclusion of additional drugs and interferon alfa did not significantly affect the long-term recovery of spermatogenesis.


Pelvic XRT and cumulative cyclophosphamide dosages greater than 9.5 g/m2 are associated with a high risk of permanent sterility in lymphoma patients treated with the CHOP-Bleo regimen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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