Artificial Ovary Treatment Could Help Women Have Babies After Chemotherapy

For women who have not started ovulating, the preservation of their ovaries - containing thousands of immature eggs in fluid-filled sacs called follicles - will be done and after the treatment is completed, these will be transplanted back into their bodies, BBC reported.

To eliminate that risk, scientists from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, took ovarian follicles and ovarian tissue from patients due to have cancer treatment. The researchers took early-stage follicles from women who were having their ovarian tissue frozen in order to preserve their fertility.

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can damage the ovaries and leave women infertile. This procedure produced bare tissues known as "scaffold" consisting mostly of collagen that is basically the protein, which provides skin strength.

In further experiments on mice, she said they found that the ovarian cells were "successfully repopulating".

The breakthrough, summarized in a presentation by lead researcher Dr Susanne Pors at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, could pave the way for an approach that restores fertility in female cancer survivors without risk of cancer recurrence.

Scientists in Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, are now developing artificial ovaries which will give women, who have become infertile after receiving chemotherapy to treat cancer for extensive periods of time, a chance to conceive naturally.

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Even in its early stage, the research could be a groundbreaking development in relation to fertility options for women who undergo cancer treatments.

He added that the new technique transplants only the eggs and surrounding cells of the follicle (seeded into a matrix) back into the uterus.

"The beauty of this is that numerous women who are having ovarian grafts can go and get pregnant naturally, and don't need to go through IVF".

This is an "exciting" technique, but still requires testing in humans, experts said. 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. Although the risk is quite low, yet women with specific kinds of cancer could not get this treatment. The synthetic organ will be made from a woman's own tissue before being transplanted into her body to tackle infertility.

"This is the first proof that we can actually support these egg cells. It's an important step along the road". Renewed hormonal function occurred in 95% of these women, and more than 100 children have been conceived after the tissue transfers.


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