Artificial Ovary Might Help Women Conceive After Ovarian Cancer Treatment, Study Reports

Artificial Ovary Might Help Women Conceive After Ovarian Cancer Treatment, Study Reports
Researchers have developed a new technique for growing human ovarian follicles — the small fluid-filled sacs that give rise to mature eggs — on a bioengineered ovarian scaffold made of ovarian tissue. These findings, titled “Towards an artificial ovary: Grafting preantral follicles on decellularized human ovarian tissue,” were presented July 2 at the 34th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona, Spain, by Susanne Pors, the study’s co-first author. Many treatments for cancers — including ovarian cancer — such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy often damage the ovaries and leave women infertile. Before cancer treatment, women can currently remove and freeze their eggs to be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, or all or part of an ovary to be reimplanted after treatment. Each method has complications, and in the case of replanting ovarian tissue, there is a risk the tissue may contain cancerous cells, meaning the cancer could return. Egg follicles, however, have a membrane that doesn't allow cancer to enter, and they could still be preserved and used in the future with no risk of cancer recurrence. Researchers at the Rigshospitalet Laboratory of Reproductive Biology in Copenhagen, Denmark, have taken a leap forward in finding a solution for this problem. The team developed a bioengineered ovary scaffold stripped of human cells that allowed the growth o
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