Artificial Ovary Treatment Could Help Women Have Babies After Chemotherapy

05 July, 2018, 03:31 | Author: Kara Nash
  • The study promises hope for infertile women

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 latter method is considered unsafe, however, because scientists think the ovarian tissue might contain malignant cells, and thus, reintroduce cancer to the woman's body after being treated.

"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 wrote in an email. The technique involves removing parts of a woman's ovary and altering them so they can be kept and transplanted for future conception.

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

There could be another way for women to have children after going through fertility-damaging cancer treatments.

'An artificial ovary that supports close to normal development of the follicle and the egg within it would be very valuable scientifically, helping develop new tests and perhaps treatments for infertility, ' said Professor Richard Anderson at the University of Edinburgh, who also was not involved in the study.


Women who undergo cancer diagnosis and treatment would now be able to get their ovaries removed and frozen before they start the treatment. 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.

"And, that this can then be placed back into the body and hopefully allow women to re-establish their cycles to possibly conceive, either naturally or with IVF, while reducing this risk of cancer". The team used a chemical process to strip the ovarian tissues' cells of DNA and other features which could contain the faulty instructions for cancer cells' unconstrained growth. The doctors then seeded this scaffold with hundreds of human follicles, the tiny sacs that hold early-stage eggs.

The approach has been garnering praise from the scientific community, but more research is needed.

Researchers from one of the leading fertility centres in Europe, Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, say they have demonstrated the world's first working "bio-engineered" human ovary in early animal trials. "But it will be many years before we can put this into a woman".

The technique, she added, would be applicable to cancer patients having cryopreserved ovarian tissue transplanted for fertility restoration.

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