Sperm preservation and neutron contamination following proton therapy for prostate cancer study.

The present study investigates the impact of scatter dose radiation to the testis on ejaculate and sperm counts from treatment of prostate cancer with passive-scatter proton therapy.

From March 2010 to November 2014, 20 men with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer enrolled in an IRB-approved protocol and provided a semen sample prior to passive-scatter proton therapy and 6-12 months following treatment. Men were excluded if they had high-risk prostate cancer, received androgen deprivation therapy, were on alpha blockers (due to retrograde ejaculation) prior to treatment, had baseline sperm count <1 million, or were unable to produce a pre-treatment sample or could not provide a follow-up specimen. Sperm counts of 0 were considered azoospermia and <15 million/ml were classified as oligospermia.

Four patients were unable to provide a sufficient quantity of semen for analysis. Among the 16 remaining patients, only one was found to have oligospermia (7 million/ml). There was a statistically significant reduction in semen volume (median, 0.5 ml) and increase in pH (median 0.5). Although not statistically significant, there appeared to be a decline in sperm concentration (median, 16 million/ml), total sperm count (median, 98.5 million), normal morphology (median, 9%), and rapid progressive motility (median, 9.5%).

Men did not have azoospermia 6-12 months following passive-scatter proton therapy indicating minimal scatter radiation to the testis during treatment. Changes in semen quantity and consistency may occur due to prostate irradiation, which could impact future fertility and/or sexual activity.

Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden). 2016 Jul 15 [Epub ahead of print]

Bradford S Hoppe, Stephanie Harris, Alice Rhoton-Vlasak, Curtis Bryant, Christopher G Morris, Roi Dagan, Romaine C Nichols, William M Mendenhall, Randal H Henderson, Zuofeng Li, Nancy P Mendenhall

a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, b The Department of Surgery, Division of Urology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Jacksonville , FL , USA ;, c The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA., a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;, a The Department of Radiation Oncology , University of Florida College of Medicine , Gainesville , FL , USA ;