Oncofertility in Canada: cryopreservation and alternative options for future parenthood

R. Ronn, H.E.G. Holzer

Abstract


Background

Cancer can be a devastating diagnosis. In particular, malignancy and its indicated treatments have profoundly negative effects on the fertility of young cancer patients. Oncofertility has emerged as a new interdisciplinary field to address the issue of gonadotoxicity associated with cancer therapies and to facilitate fertility preservation. In Canada, these fertility issues are often inadequately addressed despite the availability of resources. The goal of this four-part series is to facilitate systemic improvements in fertility preservation for adolescent and young adult Canadians with a new diagnosis of cancer.

Methods

This article reviews fertility preservation options that use cryopreservation techniques. It also outlines some of the alternative options for future parenthood.

Results

Cryopreservation of a woman’s gametes and gonadal tissue may involve embryo, oocyte, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation with or without ovarian stimulation. Similarly, male gametes and gonadal tissue may be cryopreserved. Techniques and success rates continue to improve. Third-party assistance through gamete donation, gestational carriers, and adoption are also alternative options for parenthood.

Conclusions

Cryopreservation techniques are especially feasible options for fertility preservation in the newly diagnosed cancer patient.


Keywords


Oncofertility; fertility preservation; cryopreservation; gonadotoxicity; young adult; adolescent

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.21.1360






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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)