Chemotherapy-based gonadotoxicity risk evaluation as a predictor of reproductive outcomes in post-pubertal patients following ovarian tissue cryopreservation

Gilad Karavani*, Amihai Rottenstreich, Natali Schachter-Safrai, Adiel Cohen, Michael Weintraub, Tal Imbar, Ariel Revel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The sterilizing effect of cancer treatment depends mostly on the chemotherapy regimen and extent of radiotherapy. Prediction of long-term reproductive outcomes among cancer survivors according to chemo-radiotherapy regimen may improve pre-treatment fertility preservation counseling and future reproductive outcomes. Methods: The aim of this study was to evaluate long term reproductive outcomes in cancer survivors according to gonadotoxicity risk estimation of the chemo-radiotherapy regimens utilized. This retrospective cohort study was comprised of post-pubertal female patients referred for fertility preservation during 1997 and 2017 was performed. Eligible adult patients were addressed and asked to complete a clinical survey regarding their ovarian function, menstruation, reproductive experience and ovarian tissue auto-transplantation procedures. Results were stratified according to the gonadotoxic potential of chemotherapy and radiotherapy they received—low, moderate and high-risk, defined by the regimen used, the cumulative dose of chemotherapy administered and radiation therapy extent. Results: A total of 120 patients were eligible for the survey. Of those, 92 patients agreed to answer the questionnaire. Data regarding chemotherapy regimen were available for 77 of the 92 patients who answered the questionnaire. Menopause symptoms were much more prevalent in patients undergoing high vs moderate and low-risk chemotherapy protocol. (51.4% vs. 27.3% and 16.7%, respectively; p < 0.05). Spontaneous pregnancy rates were also significantly lower in the high-risk compared with the low-risk gonadotoxicity regimen group (32.0% vs. 58.3% and 87.5%, respectively; p < 0.05). Conclusion: Patients scheduled for aggressive cancer treatment have significantly higher rates of menopause symptoms and more than double the risk of struggling to conceive spontaneously. Improving prediction of future reproductive outcomes according to treatment protocol and counseling in early stages of cancer diagnosis and treatment may contribute to a tailored fertility related consultation among cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number201
JournalBMC Women's Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer survivors
  • Chemotherapy
  • Fertility preservation
  • Ovarian auto-transplantation
  • Ovarian tissue cryopreservation


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