Fertility preservation is now a reality for male pediatric and adolescent/young adult (AYA) patients with cancer or blood disorders.
The Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC is a center of excellence and the only program on the West Coast offering testicular preservation for prepubertal patients unable to bank sperm. Testicular tissue is biopsied and preserved in liquid nitrogen.
“Recent research indicates these biopsies contain stem cells, leading to the possibility of generating sperm in the future,” said Dr. Carol Lin, a pediatric oncologist at the CHOC Hyundai Cancer Institute.
CHOC participated in an eight-year study alongside U.S. and Israeli institutions to establish a standardized protocol and centralized process to freeze and collect biopsies.
“In total, 189 patients provided samples. A quarter of each sample was used for research and the rest stored for future use. These patients ranged from ages 5 months to 34, with an average age of about 8,” said Lin.
The study discovered that a centralized process and testicular biopsies from multiple sites was a viable option and could accelerate recruitment. Click here to learn more about the study.
CHOC is a member of the Oncofertility Consortium, a group of scientists and providers who are committed to fertility preservation in cancer patients. The consortium studies the science of cryopreservation methods, storage of tissue, in vitro follicle growth and communication between patients and doctors, as well as ethical and legal concerns.
CHOC Hospital was named one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings and ranked in the cancer specialty.