The research stems from initiatives to preserve a woman's fertility while she undergoes cancer treatment. Per the Guardian, scientists have created an artificial ovary out of human tissue and eggs, and that ovary's performance on tests is encouraging.
An alternative involves removing ovarian tissue before treatment, freezing it, and returning it to the body after. The study will be presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Spain.
Danish scientists have developed a new technology that could, theoretically, one day be used as a fertility method for cancer patients whose treatment has made it far more hard to conceive.
There are also implanted artificial ovaries, that can help women with a diagnosis, such as multiple sclerosis or with the blood disorder beta thalassemia, which usually require therapies which are aggressive and which can harm fertility. To this end, the ovarian tissue is purified reagents from the cells, which could be affected by cancer, and left, the basis of connective tissue.
The cells from the tissue were eliminated using chemicals, leaving behind a "bio-engineered scaffold" on which the early-stage egg-containing follicles were reseeded.
Dr Susanne Pors, who led the research, said "a bioengineered ovary would allow the growth and development of reseeded frozen-thawed early stage follicles in a tissue bed which is free of malignancies".
Stuart Lavery, consultant gynaecologist at Hammersmith Hospital, said that if this is shown to be effective, it offers huge advantages over IVF and egg freezing.
Normally, the procedure is safe for most women, however, when it comes to certain types of cancer, like ovarian or leukemia, the ovarian tissue can be invalidated. "This is early days for the work but it's a very interesting proof of concept", said Nick Macklon, a medical director at London Women's Clinic.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the "artificial ovary" was implanted into a mouse, and the process succeeded after several attempts. "But it is certainly a promising approach". In the end, it could restore the woman's ability to conceive children. They are thrust into premature menopause, and although the use of hormone replacement therapy and their own cryopreserved eggs allows some of these women to become pregnant, their natural hormones and natural fertility will not be renewed. Which were collected from cancer patients. This portion could then be used later when the woman wants to conceive.