Spermatogonial Stem Cell (SSC) Transplant and Testicular Tissue Grafting


Spermatogonial stem cell transplantation through ultrasound guided rete testis injection and testicular tissue grafting will be performed for participants who have frozen testicular tissue prior to gonadotoxic therapy. The purpose of this study is to test the safety and feasibility of these transplant technologies and restore fertility for these participants.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: July 1, 2025

Detailed Description

Azoospermia (no sperm in ejaculated semen) impacts 1% of men in the general population and 15% of infertile men, which translates to 645,000 males between the ages of 20 and 50 (prime reproductive years) in the United States. Spermatogenesis arises from a population of spermatogonial stem cells in the testes that maintain continuous sperm production throughout a man's post-pubertal life. Diseases or medical treatments that compromise the stem cell pool and/or prevent the stem cells from differentiating can cause infertility. Adult men have the option to cryopreserve a semen sample prior to therapy but this is not an option for prepubertal patients who are not yet producing sperm. This study will test the safety and feasibility of two approaches to restore sperm production using previously cryopreserved testicular tissues, which contain spermatogonial stem cells. The first approach is autologous transplantation of testicular cells, including spermatogonial stem cells, into the testis using ultrasound-guided rete testis injection. The second approach is autologous grafting of intact pieces of testicular tissue under the skin in the scrotum.


  • Procedure: Spermatogonial Stem Cell Transplant and Testicular Tissue Grafting
    • Spermatogonial stem cell transplant and testicular tissue grafting is performed to produce sperm.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Spermatogonial Stem Cell Transplant & Testicular Tissue Graft
    • Stem cell transplantation Testicular tissue grafting

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Number of participants with return of spermatogenesis
    • Time Frame: 3 months-1year
    • Rate of participants where sperm was found in semen analysis or testicular tissue analysis

Secondary Measures

  • Number of participants with cancer recurrence
    • Time Frame: 5 years
    • Rate of participants diagnosed with cancer recurrence
  • Number of participants with surgical complications of SSC transplantation and testicular tissue grafting
    • Time Frame: 3 months
    • Rate of infection, hospital readmission, re-operation occurs

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Male participant at least in Tanner stage 3 – Previously cryopreserved and stored testicular tissue/cells (frozen due to an infertility-risking diagnosis or treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation) available for autologous transplantation and grafting – Healthy enough to undergo anesthesia – Written clearance for the procedure from the patient's hematologist or oncologist to confirm the patient has finished treatment for primary condition and are clear to undergo autologous stem cell transplant Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participants considered to be high risk for surgical complications – Participants with a history of leukemia, lymphoma or testicular cancer or a cancer that likely involved testicles at the time of testicular tissue collection – Diagnosed with psychological, psychiatric, or other conditions which prevent giving fully informed consent.

Gender Eligibility: Male

Minimum Age: N/A

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Pittsburgh
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Kyle Orwig, Professor – University of Pittsburgh
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Kyle E Orwig, PhD, Principal Investigator, University of Pittsburgh
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Brooke McClendon, PhD, 412-641-7475, mcclendontb2@upmc.edu

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