Bio-engineered Ovaries Could Help Retain Fertility in Cancer Patients

Published By : 02 Jul 2018 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

An interesting new development in the field of artificial ovaries breathes hope into the possibility of solving the issue of preservation of fertility in women who undergo strenuous therapies such as chemo and radio for cancer treatment. The study witnessed, for the first time, that immature eggs survived in a lab on ovarian tissue, which was removed from cancer patients before their treatment started and was stripped of cells. Researchers are hoping that the bioengineered cells could be re-implanted in women, restoring their fertility after they are through their therapies.

Researchers from Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, have demonstrated the positive outcome of their study successfully transplanting the graft into mice. Experts suggest that the research holds immense promise for future. A number of cancer treatments can pose damage to the ovaries, disabling the body’s ability of producing eggs, meaning that the women cannot conceive.

Women undergoing diagnosis can decide to get their eggs frozen, while some practitioners may offer to freeze or remove the entire ovary or part of it so it can be transplanted into the body again after the treatment is done. However, there remains a small chance that the ovarian cells that have been grafted may reintroduce cancer cells to the body. An ovary that is bio-engineered significantly reduced the risk as well.

For the experiment, researchers used the ovarian tissues that were removed from the women who were trying to preserve their fertility before their treatments began. The cells from this tissue were chemically eliminated, with only a bio-engineered scaffold left behind. On this scaffold, immature egg-containing follicles were grafted. In the experiments where the structure was used for transplantation into mice, it was seen that the follicles survived and grew.

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