Leukemia and male infertility: past, present, and future

Yulia Michailov, Eitan Lunenfeld, Joseph Kapelushnik, Mahmoud Huleihel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Spermatogenesis is the process of the proliferation and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) to generate sperm. Leukemia patients show impairment in some of the endocrine hormones that are involved in spermatogenesis. They also show a decrease in semen parameters before and after thawing of cryopreserved samples compared to a control. The mechanisms behind these effects have not yet been described. This review summarizes the effect of leukemia on semen parameters from adult patients and highlights feasible suggested mechanisms that may affect impairment of spermatogenesis in these patients. We suggest the possible involvement of leukemia in disturbing hormones involved in spermatogenesis, and the imbalance in testicular paracrine/autocrine factors involved in the formation of SSC niches that control their proliferation and differentiation. Understanding the mechanisms of leukemia in the impairment of spermatogenesis may lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies mainly for prepubertal boys who do not yet produce sperm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1135
Number of pages10
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 16 Apr 2019


  • Leukemia
  • cancer patients
  • male fertility preservation
  • spermatogenesis
  • spermatogonial stem cells
  • testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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