Published: Thu, July 05, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Artificial Ovary 'Gives Hope' To Young Women With Cancer

Artificial Ovary 'Gives Hope' To Young Women With Cancer

If researchers were able to successfully construct an artificial ovary that could allow cancer patients to preserve their fertility, they would open up a door of possibilities when it comes to fertility preservation.

In their recent experiment, the scientists took ovarian follicles and tissue from patients before they received cancer treatment and proceeded to remove the cancerous cells from the collected tissue, filling up the gaps with a "scaffold" made up of proteins and collagen.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

A team of Danish reproductive biologists has developed a new technique for building a tissue scaffold that mimics a human ovary yet contains no cells.

Experiments were performed with ovarian tissue removed from women having fertility preservation ahead of cancer treatment.

Artificial ovaries bring new hopes for young cancer patients, as a team of Danish researchers pointing at the novel treatment that they hope one day will be for such patients who can not conceive naturally.

Scientists have made "exciting" progress in the development of artificial "ovaries" to help preserve women's fertility. To this end, the ovarian tissue is purified reagents from the cells, which could be affected by cancer, and left, the basis of connective tissue. This new method shows promise for women undergoing cancer treatments who are wanting to conceive after their treatment. They then seeded the scaffold with the early-stage follicles.

Though this approach might work, he concluded that "it is not possible to tell until the data from this research group have been peer-reviewed by the scientific community and published in a scientific journal". In the end, it could restore the woman's ability to conceive children.

The technique will be of particular benefit to female cancer sufferers whose fertility is often destroyed by radio and chemotherapy, as well as patients with multiple sclerosis and certain blood disorders.

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. "This is early days for the work but it's a very interesting proof of concept".

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).

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