Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Artificial ovary could help women conceive after chemotherapy

Artificial ovary could help women conceive after chemotherapy Artificial ovary could help women conceive after chemotherapy
Samantha Long | 05 July, 2018, 03:34

The fertility-affecting therapies could usually leave the ovaries damaged and make women infertile for the rest of the life.

Nick Macklon, medical director at London Women's Clinic, said this is an "exciting development" but added that further research is needed to prove its usefulness in humans. Importantly, scientists were able to strip this tissue of native cells to reduce the risk of cancer returning. This scaffold was then seeded with numerous human follicles, which are tiny sacs holding early-stage eggs.

The "groundbreaking" experiment was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Barcelona on Monday and is due to be published as a study in a peer-reviewed journal.

However, there is a small chance that grafted ovarian tissue could reintroduce cancer cells. This scaffold she explained originates from the woman's own tissues or from donated tissues.

Their experiments used ovarian tissue removed from women trying to preserve their fertility before cancer treatment. Therefore, women are advised to take measures to preserve their fertility before undergoing treatment.

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The researchers then showed that these follicles could be supported by the ovarian scaffold in vitro.

Follicles, unlike ovarian tissue cells, do not contain cancer, Pors said. Pors and her co-authors concluded, "This is the first time that isolated human follicles have survived in a decellularized human scaffold". "This is early days for the work but it's a very interesting proof of concept".

They then implanted immature egg cells into this empty ovarian "scaffold". "But it is certainly a promising approach".

While this process allows women to resume their periods and to conceive, it risks re-introducing cancerous cells. They are thrust into premature menopause, and although the use of hormone replacement therapy and their own cryopreserved eggs allows some of these women to become pregnant, their natural hormones and natural fertility will not be renewed. This could be the great future in which cancer patients are able to carry babies to term after being through radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Renewed hormonal function occurred in 95% of these women, and more than 100 children have been conceived after the tissue transfers.

The development achieved by researchers at the Rigshospitalet in Denmark, which could be available within three years, means women with malfunctioning ovaries can look forward to getting pregnant naturally.

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