Egg freezing in childhood and young adult cancer survivors

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Abstract

Fertility preservation in prepubertal and young adolescent girls scheduled for chemotherapy is a demanding situation. Despite the recent impressive improvements of ovarian cortex cryopreservation, significant limitations persist. The technique remains experimental, it exposes the girl to the risks of surgery and to an iatrogenic insult to the ovarian reserve, and there is no guarantee of use because not all girls will undergo re-implantation. Moreover, it is impossible to respect all the requested conditions for a valid informed consent. The girl is minor, the time for decision is very short, and the prospect of not surviving clouds both the girl and her relatives. An alternative but neglected option is oocyte cryopreservation after the end of cancer treatments, when the girl reaches adulthood. This possibility can overcome some of the limitations of ovarian cortex freezing and may be considered for girls scheduled for a chemotherapy at low or medium risk of ovarian reserve impairment. In this case report, we describe the case of a young female patient with cancer who survived 2 chemotherapies for 2 distinct cancers and who was diagnosed with reduced ovarian reserve. The patient underwent 3 cycles of ovarian hyperstimulation and ultimately stored 19 oocytes. The success obtained in this girl suggests consideration of egg freezing as an alternative fertility-preservation procedure in prepubertal and young adolescent girls scheduled for chemotherapy. However, cryopreservation of ovarian tissue remains the only option for those scheduled for chemotherapies at high risk of ovarian reserve impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20160291
JournalPediatrics
Volume138
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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