This article is 3 months old
Reaction to study finding increased cancer risk in men with fertility problems and their family members

US research has analysed data from more than 300,000 people and found that both men with fertility problems and their family members have an increased risk of developing various types of cancer and at an earlier age. The results are published in the journal Human Reproduction.

23/02/2024 - 11:13 CET
Expert reactions

Satur - Infertilidad (EN)

Saturnino Luján

Urologist at the Hospital Politécnic i Universitari La Fe in Valencia and at the IVI clinic (Instituto Valenciano de Infertilidad)

Science Media Centre Spain

It is a very interesting study, which analyses more than 300,000 patients with data collected more than 50 years ago and which is published in one of the journals with the highest impact on reproduction, Human Reproduction. With these numbers we can get an idea of the magnitude and quality of the study by the urology team at the University of Utah led by Jim Hotaling.  

There are studies that have already analysed the relationship between male infertility and the possibility of suffering from different types of cancer, such as testicular cancer. The authors go further and look not only at the risk to the patient, but also at the risk of cancer for the offspring of these patients. The implications of this study would be to inform relatives about this potential risk and to promote studies on early prevention of oncological processes.  

One of the main limitations of the study is that it does not analyse the presence of risk factors for developing tumours such as obesity, smoking or contact with environmental toxins. The hypotheses supporting this cancer risk in infertility patients and their offspring could be due to inheritable genetic mutations, environmental risk factors or a combination of both.

The author has declared they have no conflicts of interest
Describing patterns of familial cancer risk in subfertile men using population pedigree data
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • Observational study
  • People
Human Reproduction
Publication date

Ramsay et al.

Study types:
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • Observational study
  • People
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