Despite the known adverse effects of specific cancer treatments on fertility, only 18-26% of at-risk adolescents and young men cryopreserve sperm prior to cancer treatment in the US. These already less than optimal rates of sperm banking are even lower among adolescents who have increased anxiety at cancer diagnosis, are lower in age and socioeconomic status, of Evangelical religious orientation, or are diagnosed with leukemia/lymphoma. It is not clear why sperm banking is underutilized, particularly in light of the high priority that survivors of childhood cancer place on fertility and the high psychological distress associated with fertility loss. Studies addressing sperm banking among adults with cancer suggest that factors such as poor physician communication and the resulting lack of fertility-risk knowledge by patients contributes to the low frequency of sperm cryopreservation. No well-designed studies have examined risk factors associated with failure to bank sperm among adolescents with cancer, a developmentally distinct population ripe for intervention. We propose to identify factors predictive of sperm banking/not sperm banking in order to design interventions for increasing fertility preservation among adolescent males newly diagnosed with cancer. Specifically, we aim to investigate psychological, demographic, developmental, parent/guardian, provider, and medical factors predictive of sperm banking outcomes among at-risk adolescents with cancer. Once these factors have been identified, we will develop a novel Profiling and Referral Tool. This instrument will ultimately serve as an intervention for both healthcare providers and adolescents through the facilitation of appropriate referrals, and tailored interventions for decreasing barriers to sperm banking. Finally, the feasibility of the Profiling and Referral tool will be evaluated based on provider and patient report.

Public Health Relevance

Approximately 10% of adults in the US are affected by infertility-related distress. Knowledge gained from this study may prove to be useful in providing psychological interventions for this population.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Behavioral Medicine, Interventions and Outcomes Study Section (BMIO)
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King, Rosalind B
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
United States
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Klosky, James L; Anderson, L Elizabeth; Russell, Kathryn M et al. (2017) Provider Influences on Sperm Banking Outcomes Among Adolescent Males Newly Diagnosed With Cancer. J Adolesc Health 60:277-283
Klosky, James L; Wang, Fang; Russell, Kathryn M et al. (2017) Prevalence and Predictors of Sperm Banking in Adolescents Newly Diagnosed With Cancer: Examination of Adolescent, Parent, and Provider Factors Influencing Fertility Preservation Outcomes. J Clin Oncol 35:3830-3836
Klosky, James L; Simmons, Jessica L; Russell, Kathryn M et al. (2015) Fertility as a priority among at-risk adolescent males newly diagnosed with cancer and their parents. Support Care Cancer 23:333-41