Vitrification: an effective new approach to oocyte banking and preserving fertility in cancer patients
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Cobo, A., Domingo, J., Pérez, S. et al. Clin Transl Oncol (2008) 10: 268. doi:10.1007/s12094-008-0196-7
- 202 Downloads
Oocyte cryopreservation is a useful tool for preserving the fertility of cancer patients at risk of losing ovarian function due to undergoing potentially sterilising therapies. Results obtained with different cryopreservation protocols have been disappointing, particularly those obtained with slow cooling procedures. The efficacy of vitrification as an application in clinical practice has recently been demonstrated. The aim of this study is to report results obtained with the Cryotop method of oocyte vitrification in a population of healthy women and to point out its potential usefulness for fertility preservation in oncological patients.
Materials and methods
The study population consisting of non-oncological patients included 47 oocyte donors and 57 recipients undergoing an oocyte donation cycle of assisted reproductive technology (ART). A total of 693 mature metaphase II oocytes were collected following ovarian stimulation using long protocol down-regulation plus gonadotropin administration. Vitrification was carried out by means of the Cryotop method. Oocytes were donated to a compatible recipient after endometrial preparation.
Of the 693 oocytes, 666 (96.1%) survived. A total of 487 (73.1%) were fertilised successfully. One hundred and seventeen embryos were transferred to 57 recipients. Pregnancy rate per transfer and implantation rates were 63.2% and 38.5% respectively. Twenty-eight healthy babies were later born.
Oocyte cryo-banking by means of the Cryotop vitrification method represents a viable option for healthy women, producing excellent survival rates and a clinical outcome similar to that obtained with fresh oocytes. This approach could potentially be used in cancer patients who want to safeguard their fertility. Cancer patients could potentially benefit from this approach by storing their oocytes before the onset of the oncological therapy.