Between Bedside and Bench | Published:

Fruitful progress to fertility: Preserving oocytes from chemodestruction

Nature Medicine volume 17, pages 15621563 (2011) | Download Citation

Chemotherapy can save the lives of many individuals with cancer. Unfortunately, it usually causes infertility after treatment, posing a concern for these people who will face a lifetime condition that considerably limits the quality of their lives. Advances in the field of oncofertility have brought hope to cancer survivors who long to plan a family; however, standard approaches only rely on cryopreservation of sperms and eggs before treatment and do not prevent infertility. In 'Bedside to Bench', Min Xu, Mary Ellen Pavone and Teresa Woodruff examine a study where individuals treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists before cancer therapy showed a decreased risk of infertility. How these agonists work to suppress and protect ovarian function and increase fertility in women after treatment is still unclear and begs further investigation at the bench. In 'Bench to Bedside', Amander Clark, Bart Phillips and Kyle Orwig discuss potential experimental options to preserve and restore male fertility after chemotherapy. These approaches will shed light into mechanisms of male fertility and spermatogenesis and may be the alternative to sperm freezing, which is not suitable for prepubertal boys and men unable to make sperm.

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Affiliations

  1. Min Xu, Mary Ellen Pavone and Teresa Woodruff are in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

    • Min Xu
    • , Mary Ellen Pavone
    •  & Teresa Woodruff

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Teresa Woodruff.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.2595

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