Testicular Tissue Banking for Fertility Preservation in Young Boys: Which Patients Should Be Included?

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Abstract

Due to the growing number of young patients at risk of germ cell loss, there is a need to preserve spermatogonial stem cells for patients who are not able to bank spermatozoa. Worldwide, more and more clinics are implementing testicular tissue (TT) banking programs, making it a novel, yet indispensable, discipline in the field of fertility preservation. Previously, TT cryopreservation was predominantly offered to young cancer patients before starting gonadotoxic chemo- or radiotherapy. Nowadays, most centers also bank TT from patients with non-malignant conditions who need gonadotoxic conditioning therapy prior to hematopoietic stem cell (HSCT) or bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Additionally, some centers include patients who suffer from genetic or developmental disorders associated with prepubertal germ cell loss or patients who already had a previous round of chemo- or radiotherapy. It is important to note that the surgical removal of TT is an invasive procedure. Moreover, TT cryopreservation is still considered experimental as restoration methods are not yet clinically available. For this reason, TT banking should preferably only be offered to patients who are at significant risk of becoming infertile. In our view, TT cryopreservation is recommended for young cancer patients in need of high-risk chemo- and/or radiotherapy, regardless of previous low-risk treatment. Likewise, TT banking is advised for patients with non-malignant disorders such as sickle cell disease, beta-thalassemia, and bone marrow failure, who need high-risk conditioning therapy before HSCT/BMT. TT retrieval during orchidopexy is also proposed for patients with bilateral cryptorchidism. Since patients with a medium- to low-risk treatment generally maintain their fertility, TT banking is not advised for this group. Also for Klinefelter patients, TT banking is not recommended as it does not give better outcomes than a testicular sperm extraction later in life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number854186
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 Delgouffe, Braye and Goossens.

Keywords

  • immature testicular tissue banking
  • prepubertal boys
  • fertility preservation
  • male infertility
  • spermatogonial stem cells
  • germ cell loss
  • (non-)malignant disease
  • testis

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