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Cleveland Clinic Launches NextgensupSM sup Home Sperm Banking to Provide Long-Distance Storage Option for Men

Services Available Nationwide to Men Undergoing Cancer Treatment or in Need of Long-Term Fertility Preservation

March 26, 2012

Cleveland Clinic has launched the NextGenSM Home Sperm Banking Service, which uses an at-home collection kit and overnight shipping to expand fertility preservation options to men throughout the United States.

The service, offered by Cleveland Clinic’s Andrology Lab and Reproductive Tissue Bank, uses a specially-designed collection kit that comes with instructions and packaging for overnight mail delivery to Cleveland Clinic’s lab for cryopreservation and long-term storage. The NextGen banking kit allows the patient privacy and a comfortable location. Once stored, Cleveland Clinic may ship specimens to qualified fertility clinics upon request.

“For more than three decades, we have successfully provided fertility preservation as a service to Cleveland Clinic patients and we are pleased to expand this important at-home option to men across the country,” said Ashok Agarwal, PhD, Director of the Clinical Andrology Laboratory and Sperm Bank at Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic’s Andrology Lab and Reproductive Tissue Bank is a part of the nonprofit health system, and only stores specimens for use by the donor or partner. The connection with an academic medical center allows banking to be incorporated into treatment planning or in coordination with Cleveland Clinic fertility services.

Research has shown that fertility preservation is a significant concern of men who are  diagnosed with various types of cancer. A published survey in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found 77 percent of men who did not have children wished to preserve fertility through treatment. The most common cancers seen in reproductive age men are testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s disease, both of which typically have survival rates above 90 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. However, cancer treatments involving radiation or chemotherapy can have a lasting negative effect on male fertility.

Sperm banking is also an option for men who anticipate long absences from their partner, or those who work in dangerous occupations where there is risk of injury or chemical exposure. It can also be presented as an option coinciding with a vasectomy procedure, in case future fertility is desired.

The service works through these steps:

  1. Cleveland Clinic sends the patient a NextGen kit, which includes collection materials, step-by-step instructions and packaging for overnight return shipping.
  2. Specimens returned to Cleveland Clinic are tested for sperm quality and viability and then cryopreserved. An analysis determines if additional samples are needed.
  3. Samples are stored in Cleveland Clinic’s secure facility at -196° Celsius until requested for withdrawal.

Cleveland Clinic’s Andrology Lab and Reproductive Tissue Bank has successfully preserved donor specimens that have led to successful conception after 22 years of storage. Children conceived using cryogenically-preserved sperm have shown no differences in health compared to those conceived naturally. Additionally, a majority of patients in a Cleveland Clinic study who utilized their sperm after cancer treatment were able to achieve fatherhood.

The Cleveland Clinic laboratory is certified by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the College of American Pathologists, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Office of Clinical Standards and Quality, and the American Association of Tissue Banks.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals and 18 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 167,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.

Media Contact

Kevin Ziegler, 216.636.5876, zieglek2@ccf.org