gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue of cancer patients before cancer treatment in an open freezing system

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Ralf Dittrich - OB/GYN, University-Hospital, Erlangen, Deutschland
  • Theodoros maltaris - OB/GYN, University-Hospital, Erlangen
  • Susanne Cupisti - OB/GYN, University-Hospital, Erlangen
  • Andreas Mueller - OB/GYN, University-Hospital, Erlangen
  • Helge Binder - OB/GYN, University-Hospital, Erlangen
  • Matthias W. Beckmann - OB/GYN, University-Hospital, Erlangen

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO539

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Dittrich et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Chemotherapy in young women with cancer has improved life expectancy in these patients, but this treatment often causes infertility. In the past decade, there has been a surge of interest in fertility preservation for these patients. Among the most promising technologies for young women is the strategy of cryopreserving ovarian cortical tissue for subsequent reimplantation. The feasibility of this procedure was proven by the birth of the first child after retransplantion of cryopreserved ovarian tissue to its mother in Brussels 2004. This event increased the amount of requests for cryopreservation of ovarian tissue for patients facing cytotoxic anticancer treatment.

Aim of this study: To evaluate a cryopreservation protocol in an open freezing system.

Material and Methods: Ovarian tissue was obtained from mice, rats and premenopausal women. Tissue was dissected into cubes of about 1 mm² and frozen in straws containing a combination of DMSO and Propanediol. Cryopreservation was performed using an open freezing system (CTE, Höchstadt, Germany) and a long protocol. Frozen-thawed tissue from mice and rats was isografted into the neck of animals of the same inbred strain; human tissue was xenotransplanted to SCID-mice. After killing, recovered grafts were entirely serially sectioned for histological evaluation and the number of follicles of the different samples was counted.

Results: In all grafts developing follicles were present. In 9 mice grafts 37.3 ± 2.7 primary, 30.3 ± 2.5 preantral, and 3.1 ± 0.5 antral follicles per graft (mean ± SD) could be detected. In 10 rat grafts 3.1 ± 1.1 primary, 1.8 ± 0.7 preantral, and 0.8 ± 0.7 antral follicles and in 10 human grafts 7.7 ± 4.6 primary, 2.7 ± 2.5 preantral, and 1.6 ± 1,8 antral follicles, respectively.

Conclusion: The development of follicles in all grafts of three species demonstrates that the open freezing system allows also the good preservation of human ovarian cortex. Although freezing diminishes the number of follicles it does not affect the ability of follicles to proceed to antral stages. Until now ovarian tissue of 82 patients have been frozen by this method and stored for further use in the cryobank of the OB/GYN of the University-Hospital Erlangen.