BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term gonadal sequelae after treatment for childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma with combination chemotherapy, using up to date fertility parameters and andrological evaluation, including for the first time inhibin B. METHODS: There were 56 male patients treated from 1974-1998 for childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma with combination chemotherapy ABVD or EBVD (adriamycin/epirubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) with or without MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristin, prednisone, procarbazine) with the intention to avoid radiotherapy. These men were studied 15.5 years (range 5.6-30.2 years) after cessation of therapy. Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), inhibin B, testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), sperm concentration and sperm DNA integrity were determined. RESULTS: In men treated with MOPP, median FSH and LH were significantly increased (P < 0.001) and inhibin B (17.5 versus 143 ng/l; P < 0.001) and sperm concentration (1.05 versus 49.5 × 106/ml; P < 0.05) were significantly decreased compared with patients treated without MOPP. The number of MOPP courses was significantly correlated with FSH and inhibin B levels. Only inhibin B showed an independent correlation with sperm concentration (r = 0.86; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The use of MOPP chemotherapy causes permanent gonadal damage in the far majority of male survivors of childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma and inhibin B is the most valuable serum marker for gonadal function.

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Human Reproduction
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Beek, R. D., Smit, M., van den Heuvel-Eibrink, M., de Jong, F., Hakvoort-Cammel, F., van den Bos, C., … de Muinck Keizer-Schrama, S. (2007). Inhibin B is superior to FSH as a serum marker for spermatogenesis in men treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma with chemotherapy during childhood. Human Reproduction, 22(12), 3215–3222. doi:10.1093/humrep/dem313