Fertility preservation is now recognized as the most essential quality of life issue in young cancer survivors. Although several strategies to preserve fertility in women have been developed, most of them are still experimental. Ovarian cryobanking, either freezing ovarian tissue or the whole ovary, is currently perceived as a promising technology for fertility preservation which draws enormous attention not only from scientific communities but also from the general public.
Although still in its developmental stage, ovarian tissue cryopreservation followed by transplantation has proven to be successful in many animals. Furthermore, we have been witnessing the successful restoration of fertility after ovarian transplantation in humans since 2004. To date, 14 healthy babies have been born worldwide after transplantation of frozen–thawed ovarian tissue [1–7].
It is exhilarating to see the steady progress and increasing enthusiasm for clinical applications of this technology. However, ovarian cryopreservation and transplantation should remain experimental until the efficacy of this technology is proven. Indeed, there are numerous technical and ethical issues that should be resolved with this technology. In this chapter, three urgent and critical problems involved with ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation (cryoinjury, ischemic tissue damage, cancer cell transmission) are discussed. In addition, the current status of human ovarian tissue transplantation and whole ovary transplantation by vascular anastomosis are briefly addressed.
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