Erik Ernst

Fertility preservation and refreezing of transplanted ovarian tissue-a potential new way of managing patients with low risk of malignant cell recurrence

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Stine Gry Kristensen, Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Juliane Marie Center for Women, Children, and Reproduction, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: stine.gry.kristensen@regionh.dk.
  • ,
  • Veronica Giorgione, Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Juliane Marie Center for Women, Children, and Reproduction, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Peter Humaidan
  • Birgit Alsbjerg
  • Anne-Mette Bay Bjørn
  • ,
  • Erik Ernst
  • Claus Yding Andersen, Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Juliane Marie Center for Women, Children, and Reproduction, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

OBJECTIVE: To report the first successful refreezing of ovarian tissue recovered more than 3 years after transplantation in a woman previously treated for early-stage ovarian cancer.

DESIGN: Evaluation of cryopreserved and grafted ovarian tissue.

SETTING: University hospital.

PATIENT(S): A 23-year-old woman diagnosed with stage 1C ovarian mucinous cystadenocarcinoma.

INTERVENTION(S): The patient underwent ovarian tissue cryopreservation for fertility preservation and subsequent heterotopic transplantation for fertility restoration 9 years after freezing. After a successful IVF twin pregnancy, grafted tissue was laparoscopically removed for safety reasons. The recovered tissue was refrozen.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Live birth and histologic evaluation of the distribution of pre-antral follicle stages.

RESULT(S): The previously grafted ovarian tissue was successfully refrozen, presenting follicular survival 4 weeks after xenografting. The follicular distribution in the recovered grafts showed a shift toward growing-stage follicles compared with the fresh tissue. The patient subsequently entered menopause, and histologic evaluation revealed a total of five follicles in two remaining grafts which had supported ovarian function a few months earlier.

CONCLUSION(S): This is the second case of delivery following heterotopic grafting as well as the second case of successful transplantation of ovarian tissue from a patient with early-stage ovarian cancer. The recovered grafts showed that a lower number of functional follicles than previously estimated can actually support ovarian function. Removing and refreezing grafted tissue could be a new way of handling not only cancer patients with a risk of malignant cell recurrence, but also certain groups of patients with genetic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFertility and Sterility
Volume107
Issue5
Pages (from-to)1206-1213
Number of pages8
ISSN0015-0282
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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