Quality statement 9: Cryopreservation before cancer treatment

Quality statement

People preparing to have treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems are offered cryopreservation.

Rationale

Some treatments for cancer can cause fertility problems. Cryopreservation of men's sperm or women's oocytes or embryos may give people with cancer the option of having children in the future.

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that people preparing to have treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems are offered cryopreservation.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

a) Proportion of males having treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems who receive sperm cryopreservation.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who receive sperm cryopreservation.

Denominator – the number of males having treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Proportion of females having treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems who receive oocyte or embryo cryopreservation.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who receive oocyte or embryo cryopreservation.

Denominator – the number of females having treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems and:

  • who are well enough to undergo ovarian stimulation and egg collection

  • whose condition will not worsen with cryopreservation

  • who have enough time before the start of their cancer treatment.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (specialist fertility services) ensure that agreed referral pathways are in place to provide cryopreservation to people who are preparing to have treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems.

Healthcare professionals (in specialist fertility services) offer cryopreservation to people preparing to have treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems.

Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups) ensure there is sufficient capacity within fertility services to provide cryopreservation for people preparing to have cancer treatment that is likely to result in fertility problems, with agreed referral pathways in place.

What the quality statement means for patients

People preparing to have treatment for cancer that is likely to result in fertility problems are given the option to preserve (freeze and store) their eggs or sperm for possible use in the future.

Source guidance

  • Fertility (2013) NICE guideline CG156, recommendations 1.16.1.8 and 1.16.1.10.

Equality and diversity considerations

The existence of living children should not be a factor that precludes the provision of fertility treatment.

There should not be a lower age limit for cryopreservation for fertility preservation in people diagnosed with cancer.