Article - Comment

Treatment of testicular cancer: Influence on pituitary-gonadal axis and sexual function

  • Ali Ihsan Arik

Bull Urooncol 2006;5(1):23-24

Purpose: To investigate the influence of treatment for testicular cancer on the pituitary-gonadal axis and sexual function in long -time suvivors after unilateral orchiectomy. Methods: Blood was drawn from patients treated for testicular cancer during routine oncologic follow-up for measurement of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, sexual hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, and bioavailable testosterone. Sexual function was evaluated using the International Index of Erectile Function 15-item (IIEF-15) questionnaire. Patinets were grouped according to treatment: group 1 followed a surveillance strategy, group 2 received two cycles of carboplatin monotherapy, and group 3 underwent cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin chemotharapy. Results: No statistically significant difference was found in the serum hormonal levels among the three groups, and all hormonal levels were within the 95% confidence range, except for follicle-stimulating hormone. The median serum testosterone level was 3.5 ng/ml in group 1, 3.9 ng/ml in group 2, and 4.2 ng/ml in group 3. In group 1, the median IIEF-15 score was 64.0, and the median Erectile Function (EF) domain score was 28. The median scores in groups 2 and 3 were 62.5 for IIEF-15 and 27.5 for EF and 65.0 for IIEF and 30.0 for EF, respectively. No correlation was found betweeen testosterone level and IIEF-15 of EF score. Conclusion: None of the treatments investigated had a significant influence on the serum hormonal levels in long-term survivors of testicular cancer. Patients undergoing chemotherapy have no greater risk of developing a hormonal disorder than those following a surveillance strategy, and therapy for testicular cancer is not a risk factor for erectile dysfunction.