Basic and Clinical Approaches for Fertility Preservation and Restoration in Cancer Patients

Trends Biotechnol. 2018 Feb;36(2):199-215. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.010. Epub 2017 Nov 15.


As gonadotoxic adverse effects of antineoplastic treatments can result in infertility, gamete cryopreservation is routinely offered to patients as the strategy to preserve their fertility. However, there are many cases where gold standards cannot be applied, as is the case for prepubertal cancer patients and others unable to produce gametes or their precursors at the moment of diagnosis. With an increasing number of cancer survivors in our society, strategies using either cryopreserved gonadal tissue or stem cells have been developed to allow cancer survivors to achieve fatherhood, and recent advances in the field have increased public interest. In this review, we discuss the latest updates in fertility preservation from a basic and a clinical point of view.

Keywords: fertility preservation; germ cell transplantation; in vitro differentiation; in vitro maturation; ovarian cortex cryopreservation; testicular tissue grafting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Cryopreservation / methods*
  • Cytotoxins / administration & dosage
  • Cytotoxins / adverse effects*
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Sperm Banks / supply & distribution
  • Spermatozoa / cytology
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Vitrification*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cytotoxins