cancer and fertilityMedical advancements have improved survival rates for women with cancer, but many cancer treatments cause infertility or sterility. According to a new study from Erlangen University Hospital in Germany suggests a combination approach to improving fertility for oncology patients.

The combination approach involves one IVF (in-vitro fertilization) cycle with oocyte retrieval, ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and ovarian tissue extraction. Fourteen patients with malignant cancer were included in the study. There was no delay in the start of chemotherapy due to IVF, oocyte retrieval or tissue extraction. An average of 10 oocytes was collected from each patient and about 65% of the oocytes were fertilized via ICSI. Ovarian tissues showed no signs of cancerous cells.

Frozen embryos and ovarian tissue can be used for fertility treatments after cancer treatments are complete if desired. Having two tools to boost fertility is more effective than one.

Source: Dittrich R, Lotz L, Mueller A, Hoffmann I, Wachter DL, Amann KU, Beckmann MW, Hildebrandt T. Oncofertility: combination of ovarian stimulation with subsequent ovarian tissue extraction on the day of oocyte retrieval. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2013 Mar 5;11:19. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-11-19.