Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

New artificial ovaries for preserving fertility in women with cancer

An artificial ovary for fertility preservation without the risk of reintroducing malignancy Artificial human ovaries created for first time in major breakthrough for infertile women
Celia Hoffman | 05 July, 2018, 03:31

It is hoped this engineered structure could be re-implanted into women and restore fertility after they have completed chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It would most expectantly take about five to ten years of rigorous work before the artificial ovaries get completely prepared for human use. These women often can not save their ovarian tissue for fertility, because of fear of remaining cancer cells.

The team found that the ovarian follicles were able to survive on the decellularised scaffold, marking a first-time achievement and a step towards fertility preservation for women with cancer. She presented the results at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's annual conference in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday.

Danish scientists have developed a new technology that could, theoretically, one day be used as a fertility method for cancer patients whose treatment has made it far more hard to conceive. But scientists said using the original frozen tissue runs the risk of the cancer returning - this risk is high for patients with leukaemia and cancers originating in the ovary. These artificial ovaries could even help the women having health conditions like the blood ailment beta thalassemia or multiple sclerosis, which usually need dynamic fertility-harming treatments.

A woman can opt to remove and freeze her eggs and then attempt in-vitro fertilization at a later stage or she can remove the ovarian tissue before treatment, have it frozen and then re-implant it once she has finished treatment, CNN noted.

The Danish experts suggest that a prototype of the artificial ovary.

More news: Jazz Fest cancels controversial 'SLAV' show

Normally, the procedure is safe for most women, however, when it comes to certain types of cancer, like ovarian or leukemia, the ovarian tissue can be invalidated. This scaffold was then seeded with early-stage follicles.

Speaking about it, study leader Dr Susanne Pors, from Rigshospitalet, in Copenhagen, said that it could offer a new strategy in fertility preservation. This left a bare tissue "scaffold" made largely of collagen, the protein that gives skin its strength. Which were collected from cancer patients. "This is early days for the work but it's a very interesting proof of concept".

This is perhaps the only treatment for preserving fertility in women.

"Because potentially these small pieces of tissue will have thousands of eggs and clearly if it does work, there's the advantage of then getting pregnant the old-fashioned way", says Lavery.

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