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Technique to preserve fertility in young women may be unsafe for patients with leukemia
Date:8/13/2010

rs examined the implications of the technique in 12 women with ALL, a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells, and six women with CML, a slowly progressing bone marrow cancer. The 18 patients included in this study were between 2 and 31 years of age when their ovarian tissue was cryopreserved (from 1999 to 2008). The mean age of the patients with ALL was 14.5 years and 24.7 years for those with CML.

Although initial microscopic examination did not reveal any cancerous cells in the ovarian tissue samples collected from each patient, by using a technique called real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), the scientists found cancerous cells in the ovarian tissue of 70 percent of the ALL patients and 33 percent of the CML patients. For further analysis, the researchers engrafted the ovarian tissue samples into 18 healthy mice for an observational period of six months. In the mice who received tissue from CML patients, the grafts looked normal and did not appear to contain any cancerous cells. In contrast, four of the mice who received ovarian tissue from ALL patients developed tumors. Through use of RT-qPCR and the mouse model, the researchers demonstrated the viability and malignant potential of leukemic cells present in the frozen ovarian tissue, especially from ALL patients.

"Given our findings, further research is needed to develop safer options for fertility preservation in patients with acute and chronic leukemias," said Jacques Donnez, MD, professor at the Universit Catholique de Louvain in Brussels and co-author of the study.

"Leukemia patients can benefit from fertility preservation techniques," added Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD, the Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Center at the Knight Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon, "But the strategies offered must be both effective and safe. Among its other strengths, this work emphasizes that molecular methods can be successfully applied to assessments of safe
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Contact: Lindsey Love
webmaster@hematology.org
202-552-4925
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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