Removal and storage of ovarian cortical tissue is currently offered to young female cancer patients undergoing potentially sterilizing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. For patients at high risk of re-introduction of malignancy through auto-transplantation, the ultimate aim is to achieve complete oocyte development from this tissue in vitro. The ability to develop human oocytes from the earliest follicular stages through to maturation and fertilisation in vitro would revolutionise fertility preservation practice. This has been achieved in mouse where in vitro grown (IVG) oocytes from primordial follicles have resulted in the production of live offspring. Systems that support growth and development of oocytes from human ovarian cortex are being developed by several groups. This review focuses on the steps required to recapitulate in vitro the process of human oocyte development from the primordial stage and the systems currently available to support this.
- Follicle Culture
- Primordial Follicles