Fertility breakthrough for cancer patients

New option on horizon for women

There is a new fertility option on the horizon for women whose cancer treatments destroy their ability to reproduce. Researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have developed a technique which sees a good quality egg grow from an isolated tiny sac called a follicle. The follicles are taken from ovarian tissue before cancer patients undergo chemotherapy and radiation, and are grown in the laboratory. “By being able to take an immature ovarian follicle and grow it to produce a good quality egg, we’re closer to that holy grail, which is to get an egg directly from ovarian tissue that can be fertilized for a cancer patient,” says Teresa Woodruff, chief of fertility preservation at the Feinberg School. This is the first time an ovarian follicle has been isolated and scientists hope the new procedure will allow them to successfully induce the egg’s final division, where it sheds half its DNA in order to become fertilized.

Science Daily

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