da Silva AFB, Leal TP, Panta AT, Padilha DMM (2018) Oncofertility: An Area of Reproductive Medicine Capable to Protect the Fertility of Cancer Patients. Int J Womens Health Wellness 4:085.


© 2018 da Silva AFB, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

REVIEW ARTICLE | OPEN ACCESSDOI: 10.23937/2474-1353/1510085

Oncofertility: An Area of Reproductive Medicine Capable to Protect the Fertility of Cancer Patients

Ana Flávia Bezerra da Silva1*, Thais Perez Leal2, Amanda Torres Panta2 and Deborah de Melo Magalhães Padilha2

1State University of Ceara, Ceara, Brazil

2Potiguar University, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil


Cancer, also called malignant neoplasm, is a disorder which can be manifested in almost anywhere in the body as a result of errors in the cell cycle control machinery, resulting in the formation of tumors. Although the pursuit of a cure is still a top priority for cancer research, the concern about the side effects that the treatment of the disease can produce is an important factor that must be taken into account. One undesirable consequence is infertility, since patients are subordinate to the cytotoxic dynamics of radio and chemotherapy. In this sense, assisted reproduction provides an alternative to protect the fertility of the bearer, through the use of reproductive biotechniques associated with gametes, tissues and embryo freezing, either by vitrification or conventional slow freezing. Cryopreservation is a reproductive biotechnique in which extremely low temperatures are used in order to decrease cellular metabolism. This technique has gained interest in the field of oncofertility, offering hope for men and women, cancer patients, granting them the possibility of being able to procreate biological children once their treatment for cancer is concluded. Although the cryopreservation technique allows the preservation of viability to diverse tissues and cells used during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and artificial insemination (AI), among other techniques, the low temperatures from cryopreservation can lead to irreversible cellular damage. As a result, cryoprotectants appear to contribute to the reduction of the rate of deleterious effects caused by intracellular ice formation, increasing the survival rate of viable gametes. Therefore, in the present article a bibliographic survey was carried out from 1983 to 2018, through databases such as Scielo and Pubmed. Eighty-two articles were used as reference, having a requirement for inclusion of scientific articles published in Portuguese, English and Spanish, with the purpose of describing the state of research which attempts to preserve the fertility of cancer patients.