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Cryopreservation of Ovaries for Cancer patients undergoing treatment

Researchers from Israel has found a new method of Cryopreservation of ovaries for few years and then reimplanting them into the same women. The procedure would be very useful for women with cancer, because during cancer // hormonal treatment, the chances of women getting infertile is very high. This method involves removing the ovaries then freezing them till required, when the treatment for cancer is finished the ovaries can be implanted back into them and the women can give birth a child. This Cryopreservation technique not only useful for women undergoing cancer treatment it will be also useful in organ transplants storage, which is now required to be done with in hours of donation. "There is a lot of research still to be done, but we hope that it will not take more than a few years for this to become a practicable option for women, such as young cancer patients, who would otherwise be left infertile after their treatment," said Yehudit Nathan, program manager at Core Dynamics, the biotech company that funded and provided technical expertise for the exercise. Dr. Amir Arav, Senior Scientist at the Institute of Animal Sciences at Agricultural organization, Bet Dagan said that their Cryopreservation technique involves removing the entire ovaries and cyropreserving them till required for several years and this procedure is different from earlier procedures, where only a part of the ovaries is cryopreserved and replanted into the women which may activate the already present ovaries.

"This approach could revolutionize the field of Cryopreservation [frozen storage] for diverse human applications, such as organ transplants, as well as helping women who face the loss of their fertility," he said. However, it might be necessary for women to go through IVF because of damage to the ovary, he said.

The procedure was successfully tested in sheep’s in which the right ovary of the sheep was removed from eight sheep’s and were cryopreserved, after a fort night the ovaries were removed from Cryopreservation and then thawed and replaced either on the same right region or grafted on to the left ovary. The success rate of the procedure was about 70% in which the normal blood flow started as soon after transplantation in five out of eight transplants. Two of the transplanted ovaries yielded eggs, and one that was stimulated later produced four more eggs. All six eggs were fertilized in the laboratory and became eight-cell embryos. Two years after the transplantation, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showed that the reimplanted ovary in one sheep was producing egg follicles. Dr Arav said that the ovary was still functioning normally three years after the operation.

"We are aware that a great deal more research and discussion is required before this will become an ethically and clinically acceptable treatment," said Clare Brown, chief executive of The Charity Infertility Network commented.


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