Purpose of review: Fertility in adult life can be severely impaired by gonadotoxic therapies and with remarkable advancements in the treatment of childhood cancers there is a growing population of adult survivors of childhood malignancies. The aim of the study is to review the developments that have been made in spermatogonial stem cell research and potential future utility in fertility preservation.
Recent findings: Whereas intense interest and subsequent research surrounds the regenerative potential of spermatogonial stem cells, a recent article highlights the in-vitro propagation of human spermatogonial stem cells from testicular biopsies for future transplantation and restoration of fertility. Whereas in-vitro propagation of spermatogonial stem cells has been established in animal models this is the first study in humans.
Summary: Spermatogonial stem cell transplantation began as a theoretical approach that currently is studied ardently by several research groups to make this a valid clinical option. Restoration of fertility following spermatogonial stem cell transplantation in animals suggests therapeutic potential for the technique in humans, and further research is proceeding to address the safety and efficacy of this technique.