An artificial ovary for fertility preservation without the risk of reintroducing malignancy

It is hoped an engineered structure could be re-implanted into women and restore fertility after they have completed chemotherapy or radiotherapy

When a woman is diagnosed with cancer, one of the most important things she has to consider is how best to preserve her fertility, as treatments will greatly damage it.

According to author Dr. Susanne Pors, postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen Rigshospitalet this is a newly made bioengineered scaffold and the follicles for the ova that is biological. Dr Pors added that the risk of cancer returning from reimplanted ovarian tissue is "real", though her team and others have found the chances are low.

Currently, fertility may be preserved in girls and women undergoing cancer treatment by removing and freezing some ovarian tissue before treatment.

Commenting on the research, Professor Nick Macklon, medical director at London Women's Clinic, said it was an "exciting development".

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Cancer treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy can often lead to damaging the ovaries and fertility of the woman.

They then removed the cancerous cells from the ovarian tissue, leaving behind a "scaffold" made up of proteins and collagen.

Researchers are also searching for some new ways to create artificial ovaries, which potentially could help sometime those women who are no more infertile after going through cancer treatment.

They continued to mature when this structure was inserted into mice, a fertility conference in Barcelona heard. However, this runs the risk of reintroducing cancer cells, as some cancers can spread to the ovaries.

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It is estimated that some 439 million people will be living with diabetes by 2030, almost 50% more than in 2010. Gilbert-Ouimet, the postdoctoral fellow, explained, "Even when men and women do similar work, women earn less".

At present, there are a couple of methods at her disposal: she could choose to remove and freeze some of her eggs and then, after her treatment, she can opt for in-vitro fertilization. They then seeded the scaffold with the early-stage follicles.

The approach has been garnering praise from the scientific community, but more research is needed.

The American Cancer Society reported that cancer treatments can drastically impact a woman's ability to conceive. Extensive human testing will be required to prove the bio-engineered ovaries' viability in non-mice.

A review published this year by Pors and her co-authors reported that a total of 318 women worldwide had undergone ovarian tissue transfers, with nine receiving a diagnosis of cancer afterward (in all cases not directly caused by the procedure).

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For most patients, the process is said to be safe, yet certain tumors, for example, ovarian or leukemia, can attack the ovarian tissue as well.

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