Experimental testicular tissue banking to generate spermatogenesis in the future: A multidisciplinary team approach

Methods. 2016 Apr 15:99:120-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2016.02.013. Epub 2016 Feb 23.


Spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) loss due to cancer treatment, developmental disorder or genetic abnormality may cause permanent infertility. Cryopreservation of ejaculated sperm is an effective method of fertility preservation in adult males at risk of infertility. However this is not an option in pre-pubertal boys because spermatogenesis has not yet started, and it is difficult in adolescents who are not sexually mature. Therefore testicular tissue cryopreservation to preserve SSCs for future generation of spermatogenesis, either in vivo or in vitro, could be an option for these groups of patients. Although SSC transplantation has been successful in several species including non-human primates, it is still experimental in humans. There are several remaining concerns which need to be addressed before initiating trials of human SSC autotransplantation. Establishment of a testicular tissue banking system is a fundamental step towards using SSC technology as a fertility preservation method. It is important to understand the consultation, harvesting the testicular tissue, histological evaluation, cryopreservation, and long term storage aspects. We describe here a multidisciplinary approach to establish testicular tissue banking for males at risk of infertility.

Keywords: Boys; Cancer; Infertility; Spermatogonial stem cell; Undescended testis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cryopreservation*
  • Fertility Preservation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infertility, Male
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Patient Care Team
  • Spermatogenesis*
  • Testis*
  • Tissue Banks