Fertility preservation issues in pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: practical approaches from the consensus of the Pediatric Diseases Working Party of the EBMT and the International BFM Study Group
Fertility preservation is an urgent challenge in the transplant setting. A panel of transplanters and fertility specialists within the Pediatric Diseases Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) and the International BFM Study Group provides specific guidelines. Patients and families should be informed of possible gender- and age-specific cryopreservation strategies that should be tailored according to the underlying disease, clinical condition and previous exposure to chemotherapy. Semen collection should be routinely offered to all postpubertal boys at the diagnosis of any disease requiring therapy that could potentially impair fertility. Testicular tissue collection might be offered to postpubertal boys; nevertheless, its use has been unsuccessful to date. Oocyte collection after hormonal hyperstimulation should be offered to postpubertal girls facing gonadotoxic therapies that could be delayed for the 2 weeks required for the procedure. Ovarian tissue collection could be offered to pre-/post-pubertal girls. Pregnancies have been reported after postpubertal ovarian tissue reimplantation; however, to date, no pregnancy has been reported after the reimplantation of prepubertal ovarian tissue or in vitro maturation of pre-/post-pubertal ovarian tissue. Possible future advances in reproductive medicine could change this scenario. Health authorities should prioritize fertility preservation projects in pediatric transplantation to improve patient care and quality of life.