Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UK Researchers Raise Hopes Of Preserving Fertility For Women With Cancer

Date:
September 27, 2001
Source:
European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology
Summary:
UK fertility experts have sounded a note of cautious optimism about the safety of preserving ovarian tissue and transplanting it back into women after cancer treatment.

UK fertility experts have sounded a note of cautious optimism about the safety of preserving ovarian tissue and transplanting it back into women after cancer treatment.

The optimism follows research reported in Human Reproduction*, Europe’s leading journal of reproductive medicine. It is the first reported non-test tube investigation in the world on the safety of grafting ovarian tissue from cancer patients.

Women are often rendered infertile after drug or radiation treatment for cancer and scientists have for a long time been looking at ways to make it possible for women to have babies after they have recovered from treatment.

For those who have no partner, young girls, or women who require immediate treatment, embryo freezing is not feasible.

But another option - preserving ovarian tissue before treatment and transplanting it into the patient after treatment to reinstate fertility - in addition to being technically difficult, raises concerns that cancer cells lurking within the tissue could be re-introduced into the body with disastrous results.

Now a study in mice by teams from Leeds and Manchester** led by Dr S. Samuel Kim has shown that fears about reintroducing cancer may be over-stated (at least in lymphoma patients) and that preserving ovarian tissue for later autotransplanation might be the viable option for young cancer patients anxious to preserve their fertility.

The researchers grafted frozen and thawed ovarian tissue from 18 women with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma or Hodgkins Lymphomas (cancers of the lymph glands) into 30 immunodeficient mice. For controls, they grafted a disease-positive lymph node from a patient with a recurrent B-cell lymphoma, into three immunodeficient mice. None of the mice grafted with the ovarian tissue developed human lymphomas, but all three of the mice who received a graft from a diseased lymph node developed human B-cell lymphomas.

Dr Kim said: "Ovarian tissue from cancer patients has been banked at many centres worldwide in preparation ultimately for transplantation back into patients after successful treatment. However, this step requires prior assurance that the tissue will not transmit disease after grafting.

"This is the first reported in-vivo investigation of residual malignant disease in human ovarian tissue using a xenograft and this model, involving immunodeficient mice, may help to confirm clinical decisions about the risks of transplanting ovarian tissue back into cancer patients.

"Our patients were deliberately selected for having high-risk disease and in the three years following tissue harvesting, half have died of lymphoma. So the study was based on worst-case scenarios of highly aggressive lymphomas that were likely to have already spread at the time the ovarian tissue was harvested."

He said the immunodeficient mouse model was suitable for investigating the safety of ovarian transplantation, serving as a practical screen for the disease. While the study had focused on lymphoma, it was also an appropriate model for other cancers.

However, he warned that the follow-up period was relatively short because of the naturally short life span of the mice and that efforts to develop new techniques to detect residual disease should continue.

"Nevertheless, our findings are of immediate relevance to women with lymphomas who are considering banking ovarian tissue for fertility conservation and also to their physicians who need to provide them with appropriate advice. We can now be more optimistic about the application of ovarian cryopreservation and transplantation in cancer patients, although these reassuring findings should not be interpreted as an absolute indication of safety."

Dr Kim said the research teams were now working on finding a method to screen cancer cells in ovarian tissue from patients before transplantation, and on laboratory and animal techniques to grow and mature primordial ovarian follicles.

Notes:

* Ovarian tissue harvested from lymphoma patients to preserve fertility may be safe for autotransplantation. Human Reproduction. Vol 16. No 10. pp 2056-2060.

** The research teams involved: Centre for Reproduction, Growth and Development, University of Leeds; Department of Medical Oncology and Department of Histopathology, Christie Hospital, NHS Trust, Manchester; Department of Cancer Genetics, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Manchester; Department of Reproductive Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester.

Researchers were: S. Samuel Kim (currently in USA), John Radford, Martin Harris, Jenny Varley, Anthony J Rutherford, Brian Leiberman, Steven Shalet and Roger Gosden (currently in Canada).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. "UK Researchers Raise Hopes Of Preserving Fertility For Women With Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010927072309.htm>.
European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. (2001, September 27). UK Researchers Raise Hopes Of Preserving Fertility For Women With Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010927072309.htm
European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. "UK Researchers Raise Hopes Of Preserving Fertility For Women With Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010927072309.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins