In vitro maturation of immature oocytes for fertility preservation in cancer patients compared to control patients with fertility problems in an in vitro fertilization program
Background The aim of this study was to determine whether in vitro maturation (IVM) of immature oocytes after controlled hormonal stimulation of the ovaries could be important in cancer patients to improve their chances of conception in the future.
Methods After ovarian stimulation in cancer patients, the number of oocytes and their maturity were compared to control patients with fertility problems in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) program. In both groups of patients, immature oocytes at the developmental stage of germinal vesicle were matured in vitro and the proportion of oocytes that matured in vitro was compared between groups. In a subset of women with fertility problems, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was performed on IVM oocytes to assess their ability to be fertilized and develop into an embryo compared to vivo matured oocytes in the same cycles and consider the procedure in cancer patients.
Results In patients with different cancers, the disease did not affect the number and maturity of retrieved oocytes. However, in patients with breast cancer, significantly fewer oocytes matured in vitro than in patients with fertility problems; there was no difference for other cancers. After ICSI, the proportions of fertilized oocytes and fertilized oocytes developing into an embryo did not differ between oocytes matured in vitro and in vivo in the same cycles.
Conclusions Oocyte IVM is proving to be a reliable procedure for resolving immature oocytes after controlled ovarian stimulation in cancer patients.
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