Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 469–477 | Cite as

Preservation of Fertility in Women Undergoing Chemotherapy: Current Approach and Future Prospects

  • Ronit Abir
  • Benjamin Fisch
  • Ahud Raz
  • Shmuel Nitke
  • Zion Ben-Rafael


Purpose: Anticancer treatment causes ovarian failure.

Methods: Some hormones may have a protective effect on the ovary. Cryopreservation (freezing) of oocytes has had very limited success, and therefore, currently its use before chemotherapy is not a feasible option. However, cryopreservation of embryos is possible. Another solution is oocyte donation followed by in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Results: Ovarian cortical slices containing primordial follicles have been cryopreserved successfully. To restore fertility, cryopreserved–thawed tissue taken from cancer patients before therapy could be replanted after recovery. The possible risk of malignancy restoration could be eliminated by obtaining unilaminar follicles from cryopreserved–thawed tissue and growing them in vitro, followed by routine IVF.

Conclusions: Although women who undergo chemotherapy face limited options for fertility preservation, intensive studies in cryopreservation and in vitro maturation of follicles harbor hope for brighter prospects in the future.

primordial follicles chemotherapy “protective” hormonal treatment cryopreservation in vitro maturation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronit Abir
    • 1
  • Benjamin Fisch
    • 1
  • Ahud Raz
    • 1
  • Shmuel Nitke
    • 1
  • Zion Ben-Rafael
    • 1
  1. 1.IVF Research Laboratory, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyRabin Medical Center, Beilinson CampusIsrael

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