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Is germ cell harvest and storage justified in minors treated for cancer?

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 29 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:316
  1. H A Spoudeas, consultant paediatric endocrinologist (,
  2. W H B Wallace, consultant paediatric oncologist,
  3. D Walker, senior lecturer in paediatric oncology
  1. University College Hospitals, Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Middlesex Hospital, London W1N 8AA
  2. Department of Paediatric Oncology, Edinburgh EH91 LF
  3. Department of Child Health, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH

    EDITOR—Experiments in ewes1 and autologous ovarian grafting in an oophorectomised woman have focused research attention2 on harvesting germ cells from female patients before they undergo sterilising cancer treatments—much as “sperm banking” has long been used for men. Epididymal aspiration and testicular biopsy are established methods of obtaining the “single” sperm necessary for intracytoplasmic sperm injection and successful reversal of male infertility due to azoospermia.3

    Such technical advances have led to consideration of their application in children undergoing similar treatments causing sterility. Given that efficacy and …

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