Fertility preservation in women with borderline ovarian tumours

Giorgia Mangili, Edgardo Somigliana, V. Giorgione, Fabio Martinelli, Francesca Filippi, Maria Cristina Petrella, Massimo Candiani, Fedro Alessandro Peccatori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Borderline ovarian tumours (BOT) may occur in young women and have an excellent survival rate. Therefore, there is the obligation to put emphasis on fertility preservation in affected women. On the other hand, it has also been underlined that the disease should be managed with caution because these tumours can relapse and, albeit rare, malignant transformation can also occur. Unfortunately, evidence on fertility preservation in women with BOT is scanty. In this opinion paper, we tried to draw some clinical indications based on the few available studies on the clinical management of BOT and their possible relation with controlled ovarian hyper-stimulation (COH). We ultimately came to the following conclusions: (1) Fertility counselling should become an integral part of the clinical management of women with BOT. Conservative management without pre-surgical counselling may expose women without reasonable chances of future conceptions to undue risks. (2) Despite some epidemiological concerns on the possible relation between COH and BOT, the conservative surgical treatment should be associated to oocyte cryopreservation considering the high risk of recurrence of the disease. (3) Letrozole during COH should be considered to temper the theoretical risk of increased recurrences. (4) Pregnancy should not be delayed in women at low-moderate risk of recurrences. Fertility preservation may be avoided in these women provided that they start active pregnancy seeking early. (5) Albeit experimental, oocytes retrieval from affected ovaries removed at the time of surgery can be considered. Conversely, ovarian cortex cryopreservation is not justified given the possible risks of malignant reseeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Borderline ovarian tumours
  • Fertility preservation
  • Infertility
  • Oocyte cryopreservation
  • Ovulation induction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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