Male Fertility Preservation Research at UCSF
The UCSF Male Reproductive Health group is committed to excellence in patient care. This highly collaborative research conducted by James F. Smith, MD MS; Nam Tran, MD PhD; Polina Lishko, PhD; Mitchell Rosen, MD, and Shweta Choudhry, PhD seeks to improve the understanding of clinical, translational, and basic mechanisms of male reproductive biology.
Mechanism and Regulation of Sperm Motility
Men treated with chemo- and radiation therapy for cancer often suffer from significant declines in sperm motility, a key measure of sperm function. In this collaboration between Drs. Smith and Lishko, a faculty member in the UC Berkeley MCB Department, the team is exploring the functional properties of human sperm at different stages of their development using the "Sperm Patch Clamp" technique. This technique allows for measurement of ions across sperm membrane channels. The team has identified several novel promoters and inhibitors that regulate these channels. Their continuing objective is to understand these mechanisms more clearly with the goal of developing new male infertility diagnostic tests and novel male infertility treatments, and understanding the effect of cancer treatments on these ion channels.
Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Study
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) are a targeted class of cancer treatments that offer many cancer patients new ways of fighting their disease. No studies have characterized the male reproductive effects of these treatments. Drs. Smith and Lishko are collaborating to conduct this prospective pilot study of men receiving TKI to evaluate the fertility effect of this targeted cancer treatment on semen analysis properties along and its potential for inhibition of sperm functional characteristics as measured by the Sperm Patch Clamp technique.
Fertility preservation for boys undergoing cancer treatment
Pre-pubertal boys facing sterilizing cancer treatment do not currently have a viable option for preservation of fertility. This line of research seeks to develop the capability to isolate and cryopreserve human spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) from pediatric testicular tissue. Through this program, Drs. James Smith, Mitchell Rosen, Director of Fertility Preservation at UCSF, and Nam Tran, are collaborating to develop the capability to cryopreserve pediatric testicular tissue and successfully identify SSC after thaw.
Identification and Differentiation of Spermatogonial Stem Cells
Researchers in Japan recently developed the capability to turn SSC from newborn mice into mature sperm. This sperm was then used for successful IVF/ICSI cycles as demonstrated by healthy mouse pups. No study has yet been able to successfully replicate this feat in humans. This approach offers potential as a treatment for men left without sperm after cancer treatment or for boys requiring cancer treatment before puberty. In this line of research, Drs. Smith and Tran seek to: 1) Identify SSC from fresh and cryopreserved samples; 2) Induce in-vitro differentiation of SSC to early meiotic sperm cell; 3) Induce meiotic cells to mature into spermatozoa.
Cancer and Fertility Preservation Study
Numerous questions remain unanswered regarding the effect of cancer treatment on male fertility preservation and fertility outcomes after cancer. Drs. Smith and Rosen, in this cross-sectional study of men diagnosed with cancer, seek to understand important characteristics of their decision to use fertility preservation.
Advanced Andrology laboratory technology
Cancer treatments frequently cause temporary or permanent declines in sperm counts. In some cases, men require surgery to identify sperm that can be used for IVF / ICSI. In this research, Drs. Smith and Lishko are developing advanced sperm identification systems to improve the ability to find and use these sperm at the time of surgical sperm retrieval.
Fertility preservation prior to cancer treatment requires cryopreservation of tissue. Standard cryopreservation techniques have not convincingly demonstrated the ability to successfully freeze and thaw SSC. In these studies, Drs. Smith and Tran have developed advanced techniques to freeze and recover these frozen SSC.
|The UCSF Center for Reproductive Health, located in Northern California's San Francisco Bay Area offers a comprehensive array of infertility evaluation and treatment options for both men and women. Our services include: Infertility Evaluation, Male Reproductive Health, Fertility Preservation, Reproductive Surgery, Tubal Reversal Surgery, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Ovulation Induction, Donor Sperm Insemination, Egg Donor Program for Donors, Egg Donor Program for Recipients, Embryo Donation Program for Donors, Embryo Donation Program for Recipients, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Gestational Surrogacy, Genetic Screening and Counseling Psychological Support.|