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  • Author: Federica Lopes x
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Federica Lopes F Lopes, School of Medicine, University of Dundee, Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Willem Ombelet W Ombelet, The Walking Egg non-profit Organization, Genk, Belgium

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Caroline M Allen Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

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Federica Lopes MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

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Rod T Mitchell MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

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Norah Spears Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

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Lay summary

Boys administered chemotherapy to treat cancer are at risk of damage to their healthy testicular tissue, which can lead to infertility in adulthood. Researchers are therefore investigating treatments to protect the testis during cancer treatment. Here, cells originating from rat testicles were cultured for 4 days and exposed to chemotherapy drugs with or without antioxidants for the final 2 days. Antioxidants can reduce cellular damage by inactivating toxic compounds. Here, antioxidants such as melatonin or n-acetylcysteine were tested against chemotherapy agents cisplatin, doxorubicin, or vincristine. Cultures were repeated four times, with cell survival measured at the end of culture. The antioxidants were not damaging and partially protected against cisplatin, although not doxorubicin. Surprisingly, n-acetylcysteine enhanced vincristine-induced damage. The results suggest that using antioxidants to protect the testis could have either beneficial or harmful effects when given alongside different chemotherapy drugs: this is important, considering that patients are often treated with multiple drugs.

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