Background Chemotherapy negatively affects gonadal function, often resulting in premature ovarian failure (POF) due to ovarian reserve depletion. Mechanisms of gonadotoxicity, such as primordial follicle overactivation and "burnout", remain to be established. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC) before treatment plays an important role in safeguarding fertility. Methods This is a prospective observational study that aims to evaluate the feasibility of OTC after chemotherapeutic treatment initiation. Patients were divided into 2 groups depending on whether they received chemotherapy before the harvesting procedure (Group 1) or not (Group 2). The main outcomes of this study are serum anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels and histological follicular counts on ovarian tissue biopsies. Results Between 2012 and 2020, 79 patients underwent OTC at our Hospital. Follicular counts from the ovarian biopsies of 30 post-pubertal patients and respective serum AMH levels were included in the analysis. AMH levels did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (P = 0.70) as well as the number of primordial follicles (P = 0.73). Ovarian biopsies of patients from Group 1 showed a higher number of primary follicles (P = 0.04) and atretic follicles (P = 0.05) with respect to Group 2. Conclusions In conclusion, OTC appears to be feasible even after the start of chemotherapeutic treatment, since in treated patients, the main ovarian reserve indicators (number of primordial follicles and serum AMH levels) were not significantly reduced compared to untreated patients. The "burnout" theory of chemotherapeutic damage to the ovary seems to be supported by the higher number of primary follicles found in the ovaries of patients who received chemotherapy before OTC.

A prospective, observational study of chemotherapy-induced ovarian damage on follicular reserve and maturation

Cioffi, Raffaella;Bergamini, Alice;Ferrari, Stefano;Candiani, Massimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background Chemotherapy negatively affects gonadal function, often resulting in premature ovarian failure (POF) due to ovarian reserve depletion. Mechanisms of gonadotoxicity, such as primordial follicle overactivation and "burnout", remain to be established. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC) before treatment plays an important role in safeguarding fertility. Methods This is a prospective observational study that aims to evaluate the feasibility of OTC after chemotherapeutic treatment initiation. Patients were divided into 2 groups depending on whether they received chemotherapy before the harvesting procedure (Group 1) or not (Group 2). The main outcomes of this study are serum anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels and histological follicular counts on ovarian tissue biopsies. Results Between 2012 and 2020, 79 patients underwent OTC at our Hospital. Follicular counts from the ovarian biopsies of 30 post-pubertal patients and respective serum AMH levels were included in the analysis. AMH levels did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (P = 0.70) as well as the number of primordial follicles (P = 0.73). Ovarian biopsies of patients from Group 1 showed a higher number of primary follicles (P = 0.04) and atretic follicles (P = 0.05) with respect to Group 2. Conclusions In conclusion, OTC appears to be feasible even after the start of chemotherapeutic treatment, since in treated patients, the main ovarian reserve indicators (number of primordial follicles and serum AMH levels) were not significantly reduced compared to untreated patients. The "burnout" theory of chemotherapeutic damage to the ovary seems to be supported by the higher number of primary follicles found in the ovaries of patients who received chemotherapy before OTC.
Chemotherapy
Fertility preservation
Gonadotoxicity
Ovarian reserve
Ovarian tissue cryopreservation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11768/135231
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