ecancermedicalscience

Review

Fertility preservation in ovarian tumours

6 Dec 2018
Federica Tomao, Anna Di Pinto, Carolina Maria Sassu, Erlisa Bardhi, Violante Di Donato, Ludovico Muzii, Maria Cristina Petrella, Fedro Alessandro Peccatori, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici

A considerable number of patients with a cancer diagnosis are of childbearing age and have not satisfied their desire for a family. Despite ovarian cancer (OC) usually occurring in older patients, 3%–14% are diagnosed at a fertile age with the overall 5-year survival rate being 91.2% in women ≤44 years of age when it is found at 1A–B stage. In this scenario, testing the safety and the efficacy of fertility sparing strategies in OC patients is very important overall in terms of quality of life.

Unfortunately, the lack of randomised trials to validate conservative approaches does not guarantee the safety of fertility preservation strategies. However, evidence-based data from descriptive series suggest that in selected cases, the preservation of the uterus and at least one part of the ovary does not lead to a high risk of relapse. This conservative surgery helps to maintain organ function, giving patients of childbearing age the possibility to preserve their fertility.

We hereby analysed the main evidence from the international literature on this topic in order to highlight the selected criteria for conservative management of OC patients, including healthy BRCA mutations carriers.

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