New methods to improve the safety assessment of cryopreserved ovarian tissue for fertility preservation in breast cancer patients

GCDFP15, MGB1, and SBEM were the most sensitive molecules to create a diagnostic panel for breast cancer malignant cell contamination, making cryopreservation of ovarian cortex–orthotransplantation safe for fertility preservation.


Beatriz Rodríguez-Iglesias, Ph.D., Edurne Novella-Maestre, Ph.D., Sonia Herraiz, Ph.D., César Díaz-García, M.D., Nuria Pellicer, B.Sc., Antonio Pellicer, M.D.

Volume 104, Issue 6, Pages 1493-1502



To develop a novel molecular panel of markers to detect breast cancer (BC) disseminated malignant cells in ovarian tissue, and to improve the safety of ovarian tissue transplantation.


Experimental study.


University hospital.


Ten ovarian biopsies from healthy patients, 13 biopsies with diagnosed BC metastasis, and 4 biopsies from primary BC tumor for designing a diagnostic panel of BC cell contamination; 60 ovarian biopsies from BC patients undergoing fertility preservation for validating the panel.


Female nude mice.


A novel panel for BC malignant cell detection by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), inmmunohistochemical analysis, in vitro invasion assay and xenotransplantation assayed in ovarian tissue from BC patients.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Expression of GCDFP15, MGB1, SBEM, MUC1, WT-1, and NY-BR-01, selected as markers, assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in samples with confirmed BC metastasis. The most sensitive markers were confirmed by immunohistochemistry, and tested in vitro and in vivo.


GCDFP15, MGB1, and SBEM were the most sensitive and specific markers to detect BC metastatic cells when at least one was expressed by quantitative RT-PCR. The panel was validated in 60 patients and confirmed in an in vitro invasion assay, where no invasive cells were observed. Samples negative for BC cells cannot develop disease when xenografted.


GCDFP15, MGB1, and SBEM were the most sensitive molecules to create a diagnostic panel for BC malignant cell contamination, which may make ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation a safe technique for fertility preservation in BC patients.

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