Fertility preservation options in pediatric and adolescent patients with cancer

Cancer. 2018 May 1;124(9):1867-1876. doi: 10.1002/cncr.31255. Epub 2018 Jan 25.


The incidence of childhood cancer has steadily increased since the 1950s, with approximately 16,000 children diagnosed each year. However, with the advent of more effective multimodal therapies, childhood cancer survival rates have continued to improve over the past 40 years, with >80% of patients now surviving into adulthood. Fertility preservation (FP) has become an important quality-of-life issue for many survivors of childhood cancer. As a result, the therapeutic options have become less gonadotoxic over time and more patients are being offered FP options. This review examines the indications for consultation, male and female FP options both in the prepubertal patient and adolescent patient, and the unique ethical issues surrounding FP in this vulnerable population. Cancer 2018;124:1867-76. © 2018 American Cancer Society.

Keywords: adolescent; fertility preservation; oncofertility; pediatric; pediatric oncology; surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Child
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation / economics
  • Fertility Preservation / methods*
  • Fertility Preservation / trends
  • Fund Raising / economics
  • Gonads / drug effects
  • Gonads / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insurance Coverage / economics
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Patient Care Team
  • Quality of Life*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors