Semen cryopreservation and artificial insemination for Hodgkin's disease
Seventy-nine men with Hodgkin's disease were treated with chemotherapy protocols at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and had pretreatment semen analysis performed at the area semen bank. The patients were evaluated to determine: the quality of pretreatment semen, the effect of treatment on spermatogenesis, and the success rate of artificial insemination after semen cryopreservation. Pretreatment sperm concentration, fresh motility, fresh progression, postthaw motility and postthaw progression were all significantly decreased in men with Hodgkin's disease compared with normal controls. Posttreatment semen analysis in 44 men showed azoospermia in 80%, sperm concentration, less than or equal to 10 X 10(6)/mL in 11%, and sperm concentration greater than 10 X 10(6)/mL in 9%. Eleven couples attempted artificial insemination using cryopreserved semen, thus far resulting in three pregnancies. Semen cryopreservation and artificial insemination offer a partial solution to posttreatment azoospermia in this population, but further methods are needed to minimize gonadal toxicity without compromising therapy for Hodgkin's disease.