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Don't just save her life, save her fertility
Date:9/6/2007

p>Here are details about some of the key elements of The Oncofertility Consortium:

Ovarian Tissue Freezing - Follicle Maturation Research

Plans call for the national expansion of Woodruff's Ovarian Tissue Freezing Program, an ongoing effort to develop an entirely new way of growing and preserving a woman's immature eggs, or young follicles, so they can be fertilized and implanted into the uterus when she is ready to have children. "This research holds the promise of enabling all female cancer patients of childbearing years to eventually become pregnant and give birth to their own children," Woodruff said. Our goal is to offer more freedom and choice later in life and to improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

Cancer patients who are participants in the ovarian tissue program will have an ovary surgically removed before they begin treatment. Woodruff cryogenically preserves 20 percent of the ovarian tissue for her research and 80 percent for the woman to use in the future. Eventually, the goal is to thaw the tissue when the woman is ready to have children and mature the follicles in a special gel made from brown algae that supports its three-dimensional development. The mature eggs then would be fertilized and implanted into the woman. The laparoscopic removal of an ovary does not require a significant delay in cancer treatment beyond one to two days of recovery. Additionally, infants as young as 6 months could undergo this procedure since neither reaching puberty nor fertilization are required. If successful, this technique also could offer new conception options for women with fertility problems other than those caused by cancer treatment.

Thus far, Woodruff has successfully completed this process in mice and has produced two healthy, fertile generations of pups. Early work in using human follicles is ongoing, Woodruff noted.

With the new consortium, women can now have the tissue freezing procedure at 22
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Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

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