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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2019 Aug 2:1-7. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2019.1648413. [Epub ahead of print]

Heterotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue in cancer patients: a case series.

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a "AVA-PETER" Fertility Clinic , Saint-Petersburg , Russia.
b Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Saint-Petersburg City Oncology Clinic , Saint-Petersburg , Russia.
c Oncology Unit, Saint-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation , Saint-Petersburg , Russia.


Transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue offers patients a chance to preserve fertility during cancer treatment. In this study of ten young women with gynecological cancer, heterotopic sites were tested for serum hormones and follicle growth to estimate transplant longevity and prospects for assisted conception. Frozen-thawed grafts were implanted subcutaneously in the forearm (FA) (2 cases), the abdominal wall (AW) (11 cases), and the peritoneal lining (P) (3 cases) . In the follow-up of 36 months, a total of 80 ovarian cycles in different heterotopic sites were analyzed. FA and AW grafts had wildly fluctuating FSH, while estradiol (E2) reached preovulatory levels only in AW and P grafts. Follicular growth was active in P sites (1.2 ± 0.1 mm/d) and sluggish in FA and AW sites (0.4 ± 0.1 mm/d). A mature oocyte was only retrieved from the AW, while seven other aspirations were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, a patient delivered twice after treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma when orthotopic transplantation was performed, first from an IVF cycle and subsequently from a natural cycle. In conclusion, these findings offer no strong encouragement for fertility preservation by transplanting cryopreserved ovarian tissue to subcutaneous sites, and although the peritoneal site gave better results, graft longevity averaged the same at around 3 years.


Fertility preservation; cryopreservation; gynecological cancer; heterotopic transplantation; ovarian tissue

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