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Fertility preservation in the pediatric cancer patient

Yu, Richard N.

doi: 10.1097/MOU.0000000000000655
PAEDIATRIC URO-ONCOLOGY: Edited by Manuela P. Hiess

Purpose of review Long-term survival rates from childhood cancers approach 85% with many of these patients now reaching adulthood and facing the consequences of prior cancer treatment including infertility. This highlights the importance of discussing fertility risk and presenting fertility preservation options prior to initiation of cancer treatment. This article reviews the current literature on fertility preservation in adolescents, young adults, and prepubertal patients.

Recent findings Sperm banking remains the gold standard for fertility preservation in adolescents and young adults. Testicular sperm extraction and electroejaculation may also be utilized in patients that are unable to produce a semen sample. Fertility preservation options for prepubertal patients remain experimental but recent data illustrate the potential to restore spermatogenesis using spermatogonial stem cells.

Summary Fertility risk and fertility preservation options for pediatric patients should be routinely discussed at the time of cancer diagnosis. Sperm preservation should be routinely offered to adolescents and young adults at risk for infertility from cancer treatment. Preservation of prepubertal spermatogonial stem cells can be offered as an experimental option.

Department of Urology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Richard N. Yu, MD, PhD, Department of Urology, Boston Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Tel: +1 617 355 7796; e-mail:

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