Ovarian tissue freezing, or ovarian tissue banking, is a recent innovation with only a very few pregnancies and births reported. It is available to MD Anderson-Baylor College of Medicine Fertility Preservation Program patients as part of a research study approved by Baylor.
This approach is suitable for young patients (typically under age 30) or in cases where it is not possible to wait the four to eight weeks required to perform in vitro fertilization.
In this procedure, ovarian tissue is surgically removed just prior to starting radiation or chemotherapy, which can begin immediately. The ovarian tissue is cut into very thin slices and then cryopreserved.
Once the cancer is in remission, the ovarian tissue slices can then be placed back into the patient - either into or adjacent to her ovaries, or in a remote area of the body such as the forearm - where oocytes can then be removed and fertilized in vitro.