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Artificial Ovary Could Help Young Cancer Patients Preserve Fertility

05 July 2018

A team of scientists at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark stripped the ovarian tissue of cells. The researchers took early-stage follicles from women who were having their ovarian tissue frozen in order to preserve their fertility. Pors, on Monday, would be addressing and telling in a yearly meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology at Barcelona, about the method with which the team implanted the artificial ovary.

"The artificial ovary will consist of a scaffold (originating from the woman's own tissue or from donated tissue) combined with her own follicles", Pors explained to CNN.

"The ability to successfully create a "new ovary, ' by removing any tissue that might potentially reintroduce the cancer and fashioning a scaffold on which to grow the egg-containing follicles, allows the reimplantation of a 'safe" ovary, with the potential to successfully restore fertility", he added. An "artificial ovary" could reduce this risk.

The discovery has been hailed as "exciting" by fertility experts. They then implanted ovarian follicles or immature egg cells on the artificially engineered scaffold of ovarian tissue.

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Researchers are also searching for some new ways to create artificial ovaries, which potentially could help sometime those women who are no more infertile after going through cancer treatment.

Most chemotherapy drugs can damage a woman's eggs, affecting her fertility.

However, there is a small chance that grafted ovarian tissue could reintroduce cancer cells. Pors says that the hospital has around 100 referrals a year, estimating that it represents around 80% of patients who could benefit from this type of treatment.

The researchers then showed that these follicles could be supported by the ovarian scaffold in vitro. Although the risk is quite low, yet women with specific kinds of cancer could not get this treatment. "This is early days for the work but it's a very interesting proof of concept", said Nick Macklon, a medical director at London Women's Clinic.

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The approach has been garnering praise from the scientific community, but more research is needed. Which were collected from cancer patients.

A review published this year by Pors and her co-authors reported that a total of 318 women worldwide had undergone ovarian tissue transfers, with nine receiving a diagnosis of cancer afterward (in all cases not directly caused by the procedure).

Although the artificial ovaries have not been tested on humans, the scientists believe, in theory, the eggs would begin to mature and, in accordance with one's menstrual cycle, be released.

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Artificial Ovary Could Help Young Cancer Patients Preserve Fertility