Preservation of Fertility in the Cancer Patient

  • Duhem CarolineEmail author
  • Fernand Ries


Preservation of fertility is a key determinant of long-term quality of life of adolescents and young adults treated for curable forms of cancer. The risk of developing primary or secondary infertility after completion of their treatment is variable and difficult to predict. Moreover, evaluation of the extent and reversibility of gonadotoxicity of cancer therapies is currently imperfect, especially in young women.

The term oncofertility was originally coined to describe a new discipline that bridges oncology and reproductive medicine to discover and apply new fertility preservation (FP) options for young patients with cancer. Although there is a great interest in this field, due to the lack of large prospective cohort studies and randomized trials, the level of evidence is higher than III for most of the recommendations.

The most established methods of preserving fertility are sperm banking in men and embryo/oocyte cryopreservation in young women. However, many alternative options, though still experimental, are in development that can already be proposed to young patients in well-defined conditions.

Despite the progress and refinement of FP techniques and the increase in educational resources, an information gap between patients and healthcare teams still persists. Concerted efforts must be made in parallel and global oncofertility programs developed to offer high-quality techniques to meet this unique need in young patients with cancer.


Fertility preservation Quality of life Information Communication Reproductive medicine Methods of medically assisted procreation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hematology-OncologyCentre Hospitalier de LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg

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