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Fertility preservation outcomes in women with gliomas: a retrospective case–control study



With advances in cancer therapy, reproductive-aged women can look forward to a life post-malignancy. Fortunately, fertility preservation (FP) may provide relief from potential infertility caused by cancer or associated caustic treatments. Outcomes of FP in pre-treatment reproductive-aged women with gliomas have not been previously characterized.


Between 2007 and 2018, 10 patients undergoing FP prior to chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for gliomas were identified at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They were matched 3:1 to male-factor infertility patients by age ± 1 year.


Patients with gliomas had significantly lower baseline anti-Müllerian hormone levels than male-factor infertility controls (2.37 vs 5.16 ng/mL, p = 0.002, log transformed). Despite higher starting (350 vs. 240 IU, p = 0.004) and total gonadotropin doses (4270 vs. 2270 IU, p < 0.001) over a similar stimulation duration (12.1 vs. 11.1 days, p = 0.219), cancer patients had lower peak estradiol levels (1420 vs. 2245 pg/mL, p = 0.003). The total number of follicles on the day of trigger (14.1 vs. 15.6, p = 0.284), the number of oocytes retrieved (18.4 vs. 20.5, p = 0.618), and the percentage of mature oocytes (69.9 vs. 73.8%, p = 0.076) were similar between cases and controls. One patient returned for a cryopreserved embryo transfer and delivered a healthy child.


Patients undergoing FP prior to chemotherapy and/or radiation for a glioma achieve satisfactory FP outcomes and should be appropriately counseled regarding the opportunity to family-build after treatment.

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Correspondence to Taylor Nordan.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This study was approved by the Partners Human Research Committee (IRB #: 2014P002144). Consent from subjects was waived due to the retrospective nature of the study.

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Nordan, T., Thomas, A.M., Ginsburg, E.S. et al. Fertility preservation outcomes in women with gliomas: a retrospective case–control study. J Neurooncol (2020).

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  • Fertility preservation
  • Glioma
  • In vitro fertilization