International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 28–33 | Cite as

Fertility preservation for female cancer patients

  • Miyuki Harada
  • Yutaka OsugaEmail author
Invited Review Article


An improvement in the survival rates of cancer patients and recent advancements in assisted reproductive technologies have led to remarkable progress in oncofertility and fertility preservation treatments. Currently, for adults and postpubertal girls, oocyte or embryo cryopreservation is an established method. If their cancer treatment cannot be postponed for 2 weeks, ovarian tissue cryopreservation is offered as an experimental technique. For prepubertal girls, ovarian tissue cryopreservation is the only option. As for ovarian protection, there is insufficient evidence regarding the effectiveness of GnRH agonist in fertility preservation. In the past decade, the concept of fertility preservation for cancer patients has been rapidly spreading, but at present only a small part of young cancer patients receive fertility preservation services. It is partly because of the lack of adequate provision of information on fertility preservation and the lack of referral from oncology to the fertility clinic. In Japan, the clinical practice guidelines for fertility preservation in childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer patients was issued last year by the Japan Society of Clinical Oncology (JSCO). It would help Japanese health care providers, including oncologists and reproductive specialists, to increase their knowledge on fertility preservation for cancer patients and move forward the fertility preservation services. For further progress, it is also needed to establish a national registration system of fertility preservation for cancer patients to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the current management.


Fertility preservation Embryo cryopreservation Oocyte cryopreservation Ovarian tissue cryopreservation Ovarian protection Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist 



This work was supported by Grants from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) (to Y.O.).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of MedicineThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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