Oocyte cryopreservation in the setting of a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-producing paraneoplastic syndrome: a case report and review of literature

Spurlin, Emily; Brady, Paula

Many reproductive aged women with new oncologic diagnoses choose to undergo emergency oocyte or embryo cryopreservation prior to initiating potentially gonadal toxic oncologic therapies. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a potential complication of these treatments and can be particularly dangerous in these patients due to their underlying medical illness and by delaying lifesaving oncology treatment. This case report details a multipronged approach to OHSS prevention in a patient with a paraneoplastic syndrome defined by overproduction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is also primarily responsible for OHSS.

Case presentation
A 29 year old nulligravid woman was diagnosed with a rare multisystem paraneoplastic syndrome (Polyradiculoneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal plasma cell disorder and skin changes, known as POEMS) and presented for fertility preservation consultation prior to autologous stem cell transplant. She successfully underwent oocyte cryopreservation without complications due to aggressive OHSS prophylaxis with both a dopamine agonist and aromatase inhibitor during and after stimulation and a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-A) for final oocyte maturation, without delay in her subsequent oncology treatment.

This is the first report of a patient with POEMS undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). Oocyte cryopreservation was successful and without complications due to a combination of prophylactic measures against OHSS (cabergoline, letrozole and GnRH-A trigger) and close collaboration between reproductive endocrinology and oncology. This case demonstrates the use of combined measures in targeting VEGF overproduction and OHSS risk during COH.


Also Published In

Fertility Research and Practice

More About This Work

Published Here
September 22, 2023


Controled ovarian hyperstimulation, Oocyte cryopreservation, Oncofertility, POEMS paraneoplastic syndrome, Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome