Oocytes Freezing in Patient with Cancer



Ovarian tissue cryopreservation was first performed more than 20 years ago. The first live birth after ovarian tissue transplantation after cryopreservation was reported in 2004 [1] followed by a second one the following year [2]. Today, with more than 120 live births and a 30% success rate, this technique is no longer considered experimental. However, the evolution of oocyte and embryo vitrification techniques has limited the ovarian cryopreservation to a selected number of patients. The ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) recognizes the cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos as only valid methods for the preservation of fertility.


  1. 1.
    Donnez J, Dolmans MM, Demylle D, Jadoul P, Pirard C, Squifflet J, Martinez-Madrid B, Van Langendonckt A. Livebirth after orthotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue. Lancet. 2004;364:1405–10. Erratum in Lancet 2004;364:2020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Meirow D, Levron J, Eldar-Geva T, Hardan I, Fridman E, Zalel Y, Schiff E, Dor J. Pregnancy after transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue in a patient with ovarian failure after chemotherapy. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:318–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wallace WH, Thomson AB, Saran F, et al. Predicting age of ovarian failure after radiation to a field that includes the ovaries. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005;62:738–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wallace WH, Thomson AB, Kelsey TW. The radiosensitivity of the human oocyte. Hum Reprod. 2003;18(1):117–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cobo A, Garcia-Velasco JA, Coello A, Domingo J, Pellicer A, Remohi J. Oocyte vitrification as an efficient option for elective fertility preservation. Fertil Steril. 2016;105:755–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Doyle JO, Richter KS, Lim J, Stillman RJ, Graham JR, Tucker MJ. Successful elective and medically indicated oocyte vitrification and warming for autologous in vitro fertilization, with predicted birth probabilities for fertility preservation according to number of cryopreserved oocytes and age at retrieval. Fertil Steril. 2016;105(2):459–66. Epub 2015 Nov 18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chang CC, Elliott TA, Wright G, Shapiro DB, Toledo AA, Nagy ZP. Prospective controlled study to evaluate laboratory and clinical outcomes of oocyte vitrification obtained in in vitro fertilization patients aged 30 to 39 years. Fertil Steril. 2013;99(7):1891–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Donnez J, Dolmans MM. Cryopreservation and transplantation of ovarian tissue. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2010;53(4):787–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jadoul P, Guilmain A, Squifflet J, Luyckx M, Votino R, Wyns C, Domans MM. Efficacy of ovarian tissue cryopreservation for fertility preservation: lessons learned from 545 cases. Hum Reprod. 2017;32(5):1046–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rosendahl M, Greve T, Andersen CY. The safety of transplanting cryopreserved ovarian tissue in cancer patients: a review of the literature. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2013;30(1):11–24. Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dolmans MM, Marinescu C, Saussoy P, Van Langendonckt A, Amorim C, Donnez J. Reimplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue from patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is not safe. Blood. 2010;116:2908–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Luyckx V, Dolmans MM, Vanacker J, Legat C, Fortuno Moya C, Donnez J, Amorim CA. A new step toward the artificial ovary: survival and proliferation of isolated murine follicles after autologous transplantation in a fibrin scaffold. Fertil Steril. 2014;101:1149–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chiti MC, Dolmans MM, Lucci CM, Paulini F, Donnez J, Amorim CA. Further insights into the impact of mouse follicle stage on graft outcome in an artificial ovary environment. Mol Hum Reprod. 2017;23(6):381–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Oktay K, Buyuk E, Veeck L, et al. Embryo development after heterotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue. Lancet. 2004;363:837–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kim SS, Lee WS, Chung MK, et al. Long-term ovarian function and fertility after heterotopic autotransplantation of cryobanked human ovarian tissue: 8-year experience in cancer patients. Fertil Steril. 2009;91:2349–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Donnez J, Manavella DD, Dolmans MM. Techniques for ovarian tissue transplantation and results. Minerva Ginecol. 2018;70(4):424–31. Scholar
  17. 17.
    Donnez J, Dolmans MM, Pellicer A, Diaz-Garcia C, Sanchez Serrano M, Schmidt KT, Ernst E, Leuyckx V, Andersen CY. Restoration of ovarian activity and pregnancy after transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue: a review of 60 cases of reimplantation. Fertil Steril. 2013;99:1503–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Donnez J, Dolmans MM. Ovarian tissue freezing: current status. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2015;27:22–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Poirot C, Vacher-Lavenue MV, Helardot P, Guilbert J, Brugieres L, Jouannet P. Human ovarian tissue cryopreservation: indications and feasibility. Hum Reprod. 2002;17(6):1447–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Poirot CJ, Martelli H, Genestie C, Golmard JL, Valteau-Couanet D, Helardot P, Pacquement H, Sauvat F, Tabone MD, Philippe-Chomette P, Esperou H, Baruchel A, Brugieres L. Feasibility of ovarian tissue cryopreservation for prepubertal females with cancer. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2007;49(1):74–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dolmans MM, Donnez J, Camboni A, Demylle D, Amorim C, Van Langendonckt A, et al. IVF outcome in patients with orthotopically transplanted ovarian tissue. Hum Reprod. 2009;24:2778–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Andersen CY, Rosendahl M, Byskov AG, Loft A, Ottosen C, Dueholm M, et al. Two successful pregnancies following autotransplantation of frozen/thawed ovarian tissue. Hum Reprod. 2008;23:2266–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bedaiwy MA, El-Nashar SA, El Saman AM, Evers JL, Sandadi S, Desai N, Falcone T. Reproductive outcome after transplantation of ovarian tissue: a systematic review. Hum Reprod. 2008;23(12):2709–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Donnez J, Dolmans MM. Ovarian cortex transplantation: 60 reported live births brings the success and worldwide expansion of the technique towards routine clinical practice. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2015;32:1167–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lutchman Singh K, Davies M, Chatterjee R. Fertility in female cancer survivors: pathophysiology, preservation and role of ovarian reserve testing. Hum Reprod Update. 2005;11(1):69–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Desolle L, Darai E, Cornet D, Rouzier R, Coutant C, Mandelbaum J, Antoine JM. Determinants of pregnancy rate in the donor oocyte model: a multivariate analysis of 450 frozen-thawed embryo transfers. Hum Reprod. 2009;24(12):3082–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Donnez J, Dolmans MM. Fertility preservation in women. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(17):1657–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Winkler-Crepaz K, Ayuandari S, Ziehr SC, Hofer S, Wildt L. Fertility preservation in cancer survivors. Minerva Endocrinol. 2015;40(2):105–18.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Dittrich R, Maltaris T, Hoffmann I, Oppelt PG, Beckmann MW, Mueller A. Fertility preservation in cancer patients. Minerva Ginecol. 2010;62(1):63–80.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chuai Y, Xu X, Wang A. Preservation of fertility in females treated for cancer. Int J Biol Sci. 2012;8(7):1005–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive MedicineMisericordia HospitalGrossetoItaly
  2. 2.Center of Medically Assisted Procreation, MOMO’ fertiLIFEBisceglieItaly
  3. 3.Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopaedic SciencesSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyGVM Care and Research Santa Maria HospitalBariItaly
  5. 5.Laboratory of Human Physiology, Phystech BioMed School, Faculty of Biological and Medical PhysicsMoscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University)DolgoprudnyRussia

Personalised recommendations