Artificial ovary fertility treatment developed by scientists

The study promises hope for infertile women

The study promises hope for infertile women

Experts say the work is "exciting" but human testing is still needed.

Reproductologists "built" a fragment of tissue for transplantation, clearing the ovarian tissue from the "sick" cells with chemicals and transplanted it in the developing follicles of the female body.

Scientists successfully grafted follicles, the precursors to eggs, onto a biological "scaffold" which then grew normally.

The findings of the study were disclosed through a research paper released during an annual meeting held by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology which provided more details about the way followed by the associated scientists to create the artificial ovaries.

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

Stuart Lavery, consultant gynaecologist at Hammersmith Hospital, said that if this is shown to be effective, it offers huge advantages over IVF and egg freezing.


This second option is used less often than the first due to concerns that the ovarian tissue that is removed before treatment might contain malignant cells and, when it's implanted, cancer could be reintroduced into a woman's body.

Normally, the procedure is safe for most women, however, when it comes to certain types of cancer, like ovarian or leukemia, the ovarian tissue can be invalidated. On this, the researchers seeded with hundreds of ovarian follicles, fluid-filled sacs that contains undeveloped eggs. "This is early days for the work but it's a very interesting proof of concept". This left a decellularized scaffold consisting of proteins and collagen.

"At this stage many questions remain", said Anderson, who was not involved in the research.

About 2% of women of reproductive age who have cancer and go through treatment are at risk of losing their ovarian function - and thus their fertility.

The new method removes this risk and could also work for girls, because they are born with a life supply of immature eggs. This could be the great future in which cancer patients are able to carry babies to term after being through radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The development achieved by researchers at the Rigshospitalet in Denmark, which could be available within three years, means women with malfunctioning ovaries can look forward to getting pregnant naturally.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.