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DNA repair Men's Health

Male Infertility Linked to Cancer

16 years, 5 months ago

2174  0
Posted on May 31, 2003, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists at the University of California at San Francisco discovered that some infertile men showed a DNA repair problem. DNA, the genetic code that makes humans who they are, usually has its own repair system to protect the body from developing disease. But if broken, faulty DNA can lead to health problems.

Scientists at the University of California at San Francisco discovered that some infertile men showed a DNA repair problem. DNA, the genetic code that makes humans who they are, usually has its own repair system to protect the body from developing disease. But if broken, faulty DNA can lead to health problems. This same DNA problem associated with infertility in men, researchers report, is also associated with tumor growth. The research team compared 10 men, five with normally functioning testes and five whose testes produced little or no sperm. The latter group showed a 100-fold higher rate in DNA errors than the men with normal testes. The researchers also point to previous studies involving animals. When genes responsible for DNA repair were altered in mice, the mice developed tumors and also became infertile. Researchers encourage further studies, particularly to determine whether men with this type of faulty DNA who undergo assisted reproduction may pass the faulty DNA on to the child, thereby placing the child at increased risk for developing cancer.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Human Reproduction, June 2000

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