Oncofertility: Pharmacological Protection and Immature Testicular Tissue (ITT)-Based Strategies for Prepubertal and Adolescent Male Cancer Patients

Elissavet Ntemou, Chrysanthi Alexandri, Pascale Lybaert, Ellen Goossens, Isabelle Demeestere

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While the incidence of cancer in children and adolescents has significantly increased over the last decades, improvements made in the field of cancer therapy have led to an increased life expectancy for childhood cancer survivors. However, the gonadotoxic effect of the treatments may lead to infertility. Although semen cryopreservation represents the most efficient and safe fertility preservation method for males producing sperm, it is not feasible for prepubertal boys. The development of an effective strategy based on the pharmacological protection of the germ cells and testicular function during gonadotoxic exposure is a non-invasive preventive approach that prepubertal boys could benefit from. However, the progress in this field is slow. Currently, cryopreservation of immature testicular tissue (ITT) containing spermatogonial stem cells is offered to prepubertal boys as an experimental fertility preservation strategy by a number of medical centers. Several in vitro and in vivo fertility restoration approaches based on the use of ITT have been developed so far with autotransplantation of ITT appearing more promising. In this review, we discuss the pharmacological approaches for fertility protection in prepubertal and adolescent boys and the fertility restoration approaches developed on the utilization of ITT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5223
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume20
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • testis
  • prepubertal boys
  • adolescent males
  • cancer
  • gonadotoxic treatment
  • pharmacological protection
  • ITT
  • fertility preservation
  • restoration
  • oncofertility

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