Artificial ovary may help women conceive after chemotherapy

The organ will help women produce eggs naturally

The organ will help women produce eggs naturally

A team of researchers from the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen Rigshospitalet has made an artificial ovary to help women going through fertility-harming treatments to conceive.

The team found that the ovarian follicles were able to survive on the decellularised scaffold, marking a first-time achievement and a step towards fertility preservation for women with cancer.

Cancer treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy can often lead to damaging the ovaries and fertility of the woman. 'With the evidence they've shown, I think there's a reasonable chance it will, ' he said.

The findings of the study were disclosed through a research paper released during an annual meeting held by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology which provided more details about the way followed by the associated scientists to create the artificial ovaries.

The technique has been developed to help women facing chemotherapy and cancer treatment which may leave them infertile.

But cancer patients risk being re-exposed to cancerous cells harboured in the removed ovarian tissue. On this, the researchers seeded with hundreds of ovarian follicles, fluid-filled sacs that contains undeveloped eggs. Therefore, women are advised to take measures to preserve their fertility before undergoing treatment. Brison, who was not involved in the study, noted that the use of decellularized scaffolds is common in regenerative medicine, where tissues derived from stem cells are transplanted back into patients.

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Such a risk is "very low" because the ovarian transplant procedure is rarely or not offered at all to women who suffer with certain types of high risk cancers like leukaemia and ovarian.

Per the Guardian, scientists have created an artificial ovary out of human tissue and eggs, and that ovary's performance on tests is encouraging.

"The beauty of this is that numerous women who are having ovarian grafts can go and get pregnant naturally, and don't need to go through IVF". This scaffold she explained originates from the woman's own tissues or from donated tissues.

The American Cancer Society reported that cancer treatments can drastically impact a woman's ability to conceive.

Scientists have successfully supported human follicles - the precursors of egg cells - on a bioengineered ovarian "scaffold" for the first time. Further, she added, "But it will be many years before we can put this into a woman". It would most expectantly take about five to ten years of rigorous work before the artificial ovaries get completely prepared for human use.

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