Dominique Demylle

Catholic University of Louvain, Лувен-ла-Нев, Walloon, Belgium

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Publications (21)206.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term embryo cryopreservation, utilization, and success rate in patients subjected to gonadotoxic treatments in the context of cancer. This is a retrospective study on patients (n = 54) undergoing ovarian stimulation and IVF for fertility preservation between January 1997 and June 2014. Embryos were slow-frozen and stored until the women were cured and able to undergo embryo transfer. Fifty-four women underwent 66 oocyte pick-up procedures in total, and embryos were obtained from 52 of the 54 patients. Four patients died before their frozen embryos could be thawed. Of the remaining 48, 9 women returned to use their embryos, resulting in 6 pregnancies (66 % cumulative pregnancy rate), two of which ended in miscarriage. The live birth rate per patient was thus 44 % (4/9). The true come-back rate, calculated after applicable exclusions, was found to be 23 %. IVF followed by embryo freezing is a widely established technique for fertility preservation, but little has been published on the outcomes in cancer patients. While we found the number of good-quality embryos to be lower than in a normal population, the cumulative live birth rate was similar to that achieved with fresh embryos in non-cancer patients. The utilization rate of this fertility preservation method can be considered high.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: To report the restoration of ovarian function and pregnancy in a woman after bilateral oophorectomy for benign disease after autotransplantation of cryopreserved ovarian cortex. Case report. Gynecology research unit in a university hospital. A 28-year-old woman who underwent bilateral adnexectomy for ovarian abscesses at the age of 18 years. We performed ovarian cortex autotransplantation to a peritoneal pocket in the broad ligament. Restoration of ovarian activity and pregnancy. Restoration of ovarian function began at 20 weeks and was achieved 24 weeks after transplantation. After the fifth stimulation attempt, two mature oocytes were obtained and microinjected. One embryo (seven cells) was obtained and transferred, leading to a normal pregnancy. The patient delivered a healthy baby boy weighing 2,370 g at 38 weeks of gestation. Ovarian cortex cryopreservation can be performed at the time of surgery for benign diseases when fertility is impaired. We report the first pregnancy to occur after ovarian tissue cryopreservation for benign ovarian pathology after bilateral oophorectomy.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Fertility and sterility

  • No preview · Article · May 2012 · Human Reproduction
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    ABSTRACT: Aggressive chemotherapy generally results in the loss of both endocrine and reproductive functions. If the patient has not undergone previous oocyte, embryo or ovarian tissue cryopreservation, orthotopic allotransplantation of fresh ovarian tissue from a genetically non-identical sister may be considered. Here, we describe a case report. The patient, aged 15 years and presenting with homozygous sickle cell anemia, underwent chemotherapy (busulfan, cyclophosphamide) and total body irradiation before bone marrow transplantation, the donor being her HLA-compatible sister. HLA group analysis later revealed complete chimerism. When the patient was 32 years old, ovarian allografting was performed, with the ovarian tissue donor being the same sister who had already donated bone marrow. The goal was to restore ovarian activity and natural fertility. No immunosuppressive therapy was administered. No sign of rejection was observed. Restoration of ovarian function was achieved 3.5 months after transplantation, as proved by the first estradiol peak and follicular development detected by ultrasound. After 9 months of regular ovulatory cycles, IVF was attempted because proximal tubal stenosis (unknown at the time of grafting) could not be repaired by tubal reanastomosis. After stimulation, three oocytes were retrieved. Two embryos were obtained. One embryo was frozen and the other was transferred, resulting in an ongoing pregnancy. The patient delivered a healthy baby girl weighing 3.150 g at 37 2/7 weeks of gestation.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Human Reproduction
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    ABSTRACT: To report a live birth after orthotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue. Case report. Department of Gynecology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels. Woman with metastatic cancer who had her ovarian tissue cryopreserved in 2001 before undergoing chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, resulting in premature ovarian failure. Orthotopic reimplantation of ovarian cortex performed 7 years after cryopreservation. Restoration of ovarian activity. Restoration of ovarian activity was observed 3.5 months after reimplantantation, and ongoing pregnancy was diagnosed 9 months after grafting. The patient delivered a healthy baby weighing 2.830 kg. Our patient represents the thirteenth live birth to occur after orthotopic reimplantation of cryopreserved tissue, but the first in a woman treated for metastatic disease.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · Fertility and sterility
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    ABSTRACT: Chemo- or radiotherapy can induce premature ovarian failure (POF), and ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation may be proposed to restore ovarian function. Our aim was to evaluate the quality of oocytes and embryos derived from frozen-thawed transplanted ovarian tissue. Women were 21-28 years old at tissue cryopreservation. Nine women suffering POF following chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy underwent orthotopic ovarian tissue transplantation. After 12 months of spontaneous cycles without pregnancy, oocyte retrieval was performed in four patients during mildly stimulated or spontaneous cycles. ICSI was performed in all cases, with embryo transfer on day 3. Light and electron microscopy was used to study oocytes and embryos. Signs of ovarian function restoration (estradiol peak, decreased FSH, follicular development) began 16-26 weeks after reimplantation. Twenty-one oocyte retrieval attempts were made. At least one oocyte was collected in 15 cases, giving an empty follicle rate per retrieval of 29% (6/21). Sixteen oocytes were recovered, of which 6 were abnormal or immature (38%) and 10 (62%) were in metaphase II (MII). Three MII oocytes failed to fertilize, two showed abnormal fertilization and five normal MII oocytes successfully fertilized with subsequent normal embryo development (Grade 2), yielding an embryo transfer rate of 24% per retrieval. No pregnancy occurred. IVF in women with orthotopically grafted frozen-thawed ovarian tissue involves a higher risk of empty follicles, abnormal or immature oocytes, and low embryo transfer rates.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Human Reproduction

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Fertility and Sterility
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the ultrastructure of human ovarian follicles after cryopreservation and short-term xenografting. Prospective experimental study. Academic gynecology and anatomy research units. Ovarian cortical biopsy specimens were obtained from 13 patients. Each ovarian biopsy specimen was dissected into pieces of 1 mm(3) and divided into three groups: [1] fresh tissue, [2] frozen-thawed tissue, and [3] frozen-thawed tissue xenografted onto the peritoneum of nude mice for 3 weeks. Follicular ultrastructure was assessed by light and transmission electron microscopy in [1] fresh, [2] frozen, and [3] frozen-grafted tissue. Thirty-five ovarian follicles were analyzed by light and transmission electron microscopy. Twenty-five primordial and primary ovarian follicles were found. Most of them exhibited ultrastructurally well preserved features (fresh [N = 8/10], frozen [N = 7/10], and frozen-grafted [N = 4/5] tissue). Ten secondary follicles were present in xenografts. By transmission electron microscopy, all the healthy-looking secondary follicles (70%) were shown to contain intact oocytes, with features typical of earlier developmental stages, surrounded by several layers of follicular cells. The present study demonstrates, for the first time, that cryopreservation and xenotransplantation do not appear to greatly affect human primordial/primary follicle ultrastructure. Interestingly, in frozen-thawed xenografts, secondary human ovarian follicles presented a well preserved ultrastructure, but asynchrony between oocyte and granulosa cell development was detected. The possible causes for this asynchrony are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2008 · Fertility and sterility
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    ABSTRACT: Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue is currently proposed to young cancer patients before chemo- or radiotherapy to preserve their fertility. In this study, ovarian cortex was removed by laparoscopy from five women and cryopreserved before chemotherapy. After chemotherapy, they all experienced amenorrhoea due to premature ovarian failure and requested reimplantation of their cryopreserved ovarian tissue several years later. Thawed fragments were then grafted to an orthotopic site in all five women. Two of them underwent a second reimplantation. Ovarian function recovery was evaluated by hormone concentration measurement, follicular development on ultrasound and menstruation recovery. The first signs of ovarian function restoration (oestradiol peak, decrease in FSH, ultrasound showing follicular development) occurred between 16 and 26 weeks after reimplantation. Elevated FSH concentrations were sometimes observed between series of consecutive ovulatory cycles, demonstrating the presence of a relatively low ovarian reserve. There were no signs of disease recurrence in any patients with malignant disease. In conclusion, restoration of ovarian function was observed in all cases. Grafts remained functional in all the women. Transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue to an orthotopic site appears to restore ovarian endocrine function, without any signs of disease recurrence.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Reproductive biomedicine online
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    ABSTRACT: Aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy generally result in the loss of both endocrine and reproductive functions. In 1990, a woman aged 20 years, presenting with β-thalassemia major, underwent chemotherapy (busulfan and cyclophosphamide) and total body irradiation (TBI) before bone marrow transplantation (BMT), the donor being her 17-year-old HLA-compatible sister. The treatment resulted in premature ovarian failure. In 2006, after excision of ovarian cortical fragments from the HLA-compatible sister, these fragments were immediately sutured to the ovarian medulla of the patient. Both procedures were performed by laparoscopy. Six months after reimplantation, vaginal ultrasonography and hormone concentrations indicated recovery of ovarian secretion and function. From 6 to 11 months, the patient experienced menstrual bleeding and the development of a follicle concomitant with high estradiol levels. Eleven months after reimplantation, two follicles were detected and punctured under vaginal ultrasonographic control. Two mature oocytes were retrieved and inseminated by ICSI. Two embryos (2- and 3-cell) were obtained. Allotransplantation of fresh ovarian tissue was laparoscopically performed between two genetically non-identical sisters. Restoration of ovarian function was achieved after six months. Oocyte retrieval and embryo development were demonstrated.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2007 · Human Reproduction

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Reproductive biomedicine online
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    ABSTRACT: The review covers current options for ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation and provides a systematic review of the existing literature from the last 10 years, taking into account all previously published reviews on the subject. The different cryopreservation options available for fertility preservation in cancer patients are embryo cryopreservation, oocyte cryopreservation and ovarian tissue cryopreservation. The choice depends on various parameters: the type and timing of chemotherapy, the type of cancer, the patient’s age and the partner status. The different options and their results are discussed, as well as their putative indications and efficacy. The review concludes that advances in reproductive technology have made fertility preservation techniques a real possibility for patients whose gonadal function is threatened by premature menopause, or by treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgical castration.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2006 · Human Reproduction Update
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    ABSTRACT: Ovarian function after orthotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue has been restored in women with malignant disease. Here the techniques are adapted for a non-cancer patient. In 1999, right oophorectomy was performed in a 21 year old woman before chemotherapy, prior to bone marrow transplantation. Ovarian cortex was frozen, according to a strict protocol. After thawing, ovarian cortex was reimplanted into the ovary and in a peritoneal window close to the ovary in 2004. Four-and-a-half months after reimplantation, LH, FSH, 17β-estradiol and progesterone levels, as well as ultrasonography, demonstrated the presence of an ovulatory cycle. After this cycle, the patient experienced two other ovulatory cycles, evidenced by FSH and 17β-estradiol concentrations, as well as ultrasound demonstration of a follicle. Follicular development was clearly observed in both the intraovarian site (1st and 2nd cycle) and the peritoneal window (3rd cycle). Restoration of endocrine ovarian function occurred after ovarian cortical strips, biopsied and cryopreserved before chemotherapy, were reimplanted into the ovary itself and a periovarian peritoneal window.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Human Reproduction
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this review is to investigate recent advances in xenografting, as well as in orthotopic and heterotopic autotransplantation of human cryopreserved ovarian tissue. The first livebirth after orthotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue was reported recently. We discuss this case and other cases of reimplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue, bearing in mind that many questions remain. Finally, we report the latest developments in research on the transplantation of an intact ovary and the reimplantation of isolated follicles.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate if in vitro fertilization (IVF) with embryo cryopreservation can be proposed to patients immediately after one or two regimens of chemotherapy. Retrospective study. Academic research center and IVF unit. Eleven young patients diagnosed with cancer between September 1999 and April 2003 who wanted to preserve their fertility via IVF. Stimulation and IVF before or soon after chemotherapy treatment. The number and quality of embryos obtained after stimulation in cancer patients undergoing IVF before or soon after chemotherapeutic treatment. Four patients underwent IVF in the interval between two regimens of chemotherapy. Two of them had no follicular development; one underwent follicular puncture but no oocytes were retrieved; and, in one, six oocytes were harvested but only one good quality embryo was obtained. In the seven patients who underwent IVF before starting chemotherapy, between 4 and 11 embryos were obtained per patient, the majority being good quality embryos. Because the efficacy of IVF is dramatically reduced after even one round of chemotherapy, IVF should be performed before chemotherapy. For those who require immediate chemotherapy, ovarian tissue cryopreservation and/or oocyte cryopreservation could be used before treatment.
    No preview · Article · May 2005 · Fertility and sterility
  • J. Donnez · M.M. Dolmans · D. Demylle

    No preview · Article · Dec 2004
  • J Donnez · MM Dolmans · D Demylle

    No preview · Article · Dec 2004 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the outcome of IVF and ICSI in idiopathic infertility. Design: Prospective randomized study. Setting: University Hospital, Patients: From 1999 to 2001, 60 patients were randomly allocated to Group I (IVF-ICSI split insemination) or Group II (conventional insemination). Results: Unexplained infertility is defined as failing to establish a pregnancy despite no cause of infertility being identified. IVF has been proposed as one of the therapeutic approaches to improve fertility. Stimulation parameters were not significantly different in the two groups. The fertilization failure rate after normal insemination was respectively 13.3% and 16.6% in Groups I and II. The pregnancy rate per transfer was respectively 50% and 36.7% in Groups I and II, After two attempts, the cumulative pregnancy rate was 60% and 50% respectively in Groups I and II. Conclusion: No statistical difference was observed between the two groups in this small series, suggesting that the systematic use of ICSI (or ICSI/IVF split) during the first attempt does not benefit couples with unexplained infertility.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2004 · Jornal Brasileiro de Reproducao Assistida
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    ABSTRACT: The lifesaving treatment endured by cancer patients leads, in many women, to early menopause and subsequent infertility. In clinical situations for which chemotherapy needs to be started, ovarian tissue cryopreservation looks to be a promising option to restore fertility. In 1997, biopsy samples of ovarian cortex were taken from a woman with stage IV Hodgkin's lymphoma and cryopreserved before chemotherapy was initiated. After her cancer treatment, the patient had premature ovarian failure. In 2003, after freeze-thawing, orthotopic autotransplantation of ovarian cortical tissue was done by laparoscopy. 5 months after reimplantation, basal body temperature, menstrual cycles, vaginal ultrasonography, and hormone concentrations indicated recovery of regular ovulatory cycles. Laparoscopy at 5 months confirmed the ultrasonographic data and showed the presence of a follicle at the site of reimplantation, clearly situated outside the ovaries, both of which appeared atrophic. From 5 to 9 months, the patient had menstrual bleeding and development of a follicle or corpus luteum with every cycle. 11 months after reimplantation, human chorionic gonadotrophin concentrations and vaginal echography confirmed a viable intrauterine pregnancy, which has resulted in a livebirth. We have described a livebirth after orthotopic autotransplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue. Our findings suggest that cryopreservation of ovarian tissue should be offered to all young women diagnosed with cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2004 · The Lancet

Publication Stats

2k Citations
206.02 Total Impact Points


  • 2001-2012
    • Catholic University of Louvain
      • Institute of Experimental and Clinical Research (IREC)
      Лувен-ла-Нев, Walloon, Belgium
  • 2005-2010
    • Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc
      • Division of Gynecology and Andrology
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium