Introduction/Background The majority of females candidate to receive anti-cancer treatments are at risk to develop the ‘cancer treatment related infertility’ (CTRI). Beyond oocyte and embryo cryopreservation as fertility preservation (FP) procedure in females cancer survivor, early ovarian tissue cryopreservation and subsequent reimplantation at the cancer healing, has been recently proposed as alternative procedure. We report our experience including results in approaching the freezing of human ovarian cortex samples by the slow freezing (SF) vs the ultra-rapid freezing (URF) procedure.
Methodology Ovarian cortex biopsies were collected from 11 fertile women with a mean age of 31, affected by benign gynecologic diseases or early stage urogynecologic malignancies (no ovarian tumors), with 5-year survival chance >50%, AMH levels ≥ 2ng/mL and antral ultrasound follicle count ≥10. After six months of cryostorage, the strips was subjected to histological inspection to evaluate the maintainment of morphologic cortex aspect and perform a follicle count comparing the slow freezing (SF) vs the ultra-rapid freezing (URF) procedures.
Results 149 follicles were observed and evaluated after thawed post SF procedure and 47 of them were morphologically intact whereas the remaining 102 showed alterations compatible with cutting or crushing lesions or with tissue degeneration. By contrast, after thawing after URF procedure, 37 follicles were detected and 27 out of them appeared structurally integral.
Conclusion In our study, we verified that the URF procedure probably affects structural components of the follicles and that the SF method should be preferred in a well-oriented program of oncofertility in young and/or adult patients enrolled in OTC protocols.
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