Cancer 107 (S7):1686-1689 (2006)

Françoise Baylis
Dalhousie University
Carolyn McLeod
University of Western Ontario
With the cure rate for many pediatric malignancies now between 70% and 90%, infertility becomes an increasingly important issue. Strategies for preserving fertility in girls and adolescent women occur in two distinct phases. The first phase includes oophorectomy and cryopreservation of ovarian cortex slices or individual oocytes; ultrasound-guided needle aspiration of oocytes, with or without in vitro maturation, followed by cryopreservation; and ovarian autografting to a distant site. The second phase occurs if the woman chooses to pursue pregnancy, and includes IVM of the oocytes, followed by in vitro fertilization and transfer of any created embryos to the woman's uterus. For ovarian autografting, the woman would undergo menotropin ovarian stimulation and retrieval of matured oocytes. The ethical challenges with each of these phases are many of fertility preservation and include issues of informed choice. The lack of proven benefit with these strategies and the associated potential physical and psychological harms require careful attention to the key elements of informed choice, which include decisional capacity, disclosure, understanding and voluntariness, and to the benefits of in-depth counseling to promote free and informed choice at a time that is emotionally difficult for the decision makers.
Keywords cancer  reproductive autonomy  fertility preservation
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DOI 10.1002/cncr.22106
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