Ovarian response to stimulation for fertility preservation in women with malignant disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Women with malignant disease have a significantly lower oocyte retrieval rate compared with agematched healthy controls; specific malignancy or stage effect on ovarian response to stimulation cannot be assessed.

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Shevach Friedler, M.D., Onder Koc, M.D., Yariv Gidoni, M.D., Arieh Raziel, M.D., Raphael Ron-El, M.D.

Vol 97, Issue 1 , Pages 125-133



To evaluate the current available data regarding ovarian performance of patients diagnosed with malignant disease undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for fertility preservation, before radio/chemotherapy, compared with age-matched, healthy patients undergoing COH for in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI).


Meta-analysis of the data available from a systematic review of the literature.


Academic centers of infertility and IVF.


Patients with malignant disease, before radio/chemotherapy, undergoing COH for fertility preservation within comparative studies with healthy, age-matched controls.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Peak estradiol levels on day of human chorionic gonadotropin administration, number of oocytes retrieved, fertilization rate, incidence of low ovarian response, and cycle cancellation.


Only seven retrospective, case-controlled studies were found to match our objective. Overall, the results of the meta-analysis indicate that the number of retrieved oocytes rate was statistically significantly lower compared with age-matched healthy IVF patients. The incidence of poor ovarian performance and risk of cycle cancellation as well as the calculated number of two pronuclei zygotes achieved among patients with cancer were comparable with their age-matched controls.


Women with malignant disease should expect a lower number of oocytes retrieved after COH for fertility preservation, compared with healthy, age-matched patients. Presently, there is paucity of evidence to assess the effect of a specific malignant disease on ovarian response to COH before IVF for fertility preservation. Multicentric studies should be conducted to resolve these important issues.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)02680-X/fulltext

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.