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Int J Biol Sci. 2012;8(7):1005-12. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.4800. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Preservation of fertility in females treated for cancer.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Navy General Hospital, Beijing, China.


Advancements of diagnosis and treatment have substantially improved cancer survival rates in the last few decades. The increasing number of survivors focuses attention on long-term effects caused by cancer treatment and its impact on quality of life. Ovarian failure is one of the major sequelae of cytotoxic chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in female children and reproductive-age women. Oncologists should address the patients about fertility preservation options before therapy. Embryo cryopreservation is the only well-established method for females in preserving fertility; however other strategies including ovarian suppression, ovarian transposition and cryopreservation of oocytes and ovarian tissue are still experimental. Patients need advice and to know which are the most practical options for them. This article reviews the available fertility preservation methods in women, and the related issues including normal physiology of the ovary, effect of anticancer therapy on fertility, role of the oncologist and ethics. We performed a MEDLINE search from 1971 to 2011 in a similar way as Jensen et al. 2011, using the following MeSH terms: antineoplastic agents; ovarian failure; premature; infertility, female; fertility preservation; child and cancer; reproductive technologies, assisted.


Cancer patient; Females; Fertility Preservation

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