Oocyte Cryopreservation in Oncological Patients: Eighteen Years Experience of a Tertiary Care Referral Center

Cristina Specchia, Annamaria Baggiani, Valentina Immediata, Camilla Ronchetti, Amalia Cesana, Antonella Smeraldi, Giulia Scaravelli, Paolo Emanuele Levi-Setti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the present study is to report our experience on elective women fertility preservation before cancer treatment. Study Design: This is a single-center retrospective observational study, including all patients who underwent elective fertility preservation before oncological treatment between January 2001 and March 2019 at our Institute. Results: Of a total of 568 women who received fertility counseling, 244 (42.9%) underwent 252 oocyte retrieval cycles after controlled ovarian stimulation for cryopreservation. The majority of patients were diagnosed with breast cancer (59.9%), followed by women affected by Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (27.4%). A minority comprised patients diagnosed with other malignancies that affected soft tissues (2.8%), ovary borderline type (2.4%), digestive system (1.6%), leukemia (1.6%), uterine cervix (1.2%). The remaining 3.1% were affected by other cancer types. The mean age of the cohort was 31.3 ± 6.4 years and the mean oocyte retrieval was 13.5± 8.4. Of 11 women who returned to attempt a pregnancy, three performed two thawed cycles. We obtained four pregnancies from 24 embryo transfers (Pregnancy Rate 36.4% for couple): two miscarriages and two live births. Overall, 95.7% of oocytes are still in storage. Conclusions: A close collaboration between Cancer and Fertility Center in a tertiary care hospital is essential to provide a good health service in oncological patients. Offering fertility preservation is no longer considered optional and must be included in every therapeutic program for women who receive an oncological diagnosis in their reproductive age. Oocyte cryopreservation appears to be a good opportunity for fertility preservation. Our results, although they are obtained in a small sample, are encouraging, even if only 4.5% of patients returned to use their gametes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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