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Technique Allows Cancer Survivors to Retain Fertility

Researchers from Leeds University in the UK have discovered a new technique of storing sections of ovaries that will enable young female cancer patients to have children later in life.

This method, which will not be perfected for another five to ten years, entails preserving “ovarian tissue banks” that doctors can mature in a laboratory or “replant the healthy tissue into the recovered cancer patients to allow natural conception.”

Currently, many women who undergo cancer treatments including chemotherapy or radiotherapy become infertile, as the ovaries are not protected from the chemicals. This method will allow women a chance to have healthy, normal babies.

In their study, scientists collected eggs from 20 women who were about to undergo routine surgery or a cesarean section. Doctors took these immature eggs and grew them in tissue culture, where their development was said to be normal.

Sources:

The Independent - June 30, 1999