Auto-transplant of cryopreserved ovarian tissue in leukemia patients carries a risk to reintroduce malignant cells. Maturation of ovarian follicles in vitro is a promising strategy to overcome the leukemic cell contamination. The follicle development and survival in 14 cryopreserved ovarian tissues with leukemia-specific PCR marker was evaluated after 7 or 14 days culture. Minimal residual disease (MRD) quantification was assessed by real-time quantitative PCR in order to identify the MRD positive (n = 6) and negative (n = 8) samples and to monitor levels of MRD before and after culture. The morphology of ovarian follicles were studied by light microscopy. After culture, no statistical significant differences were detected in follicle densities between MRD positive- and negative samples. Ovarian MRD either decreased below undetectable or fluctuated near the baseline level after 7 and 14 days in culture. This study provides quantitative in vitro evidence that leukemia contamination does not affect the follicle survival in cryopreserved ovarian tissue.
Keywords: Leukemia; minimal residual disease; ovarian tissue; tissue culture.