Journal of Human Reproductive Science
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-7
Fertility preservation in young cancer patients


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah Medical Center and Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
2 Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Hadassah Medical Center and Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

Correspondence Address:
Ariel Revel
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah Medical Center and Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, P.O.Box 12000, Jerusalem - 911 20
Israel
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-1208.63113

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As a result of advances in treatment, almost 80% of children and adolescents who receive a diagnosis of cancer become long-term survivors. The increased survival rate of children and adolescents with cancer has resulted in a major interest in the long-term effects of cancer treatment on the possibility for future fertility. Currently established methods for the preservation of fertility are available only for pubertal males and females. Pubertal male cancer patients should be encouraged to freeze numerous sperm samples even when sperm count and motility are poor. In these cases, intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a powerful technique compared with intrauterine insemination since thawed sperm samples with poor parameters can produce relatively high fertilization rates resulting in normal pregnancies and deliveries. Married pubertal women should be proposed ovulation induction, follicular aspiration, and fertilization with husband sperm. Single women could benefit from vitrification of oocytes. This requires a delay of about 3 weeks in the commencement of chemotherapy to enable follicular growth. Fertility preservation for prepubertal patients is more of a problem. Young girls could be offered cryopreservation of gametes in the gonadal tissue. Cryopreservation of testicular tissue was suggested for fertility preservation for young boys, but this method is totally experimental and not currently offered. Discussing future fertility is part of the consultation of young female and male patients facing potentially gonadotoxic cancer therapy. It is the role of reproductive specialists to create various options in their laboratory to preserve fertility potential of cancer patients.


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