Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cryopreservation Techniques Bring Hopes For Women Cancer Victims And Endangered Species

Date:
September 11, 2008
Source:
European Science Foundation
Summary:
Emerging cryopreservation techniques are increasing hope of restoring fertility for women after diseases such as ovarian cancer that lead to destruction of reproductive tissue. The same techniques can also be used to maintain stocks of farm animals, and protect against extinction of endangered animal species by maintaining banks of ovarian tissue or even nascent embryos that can be used to produce offspring at some point in the future.

Cryopreservation promises to restore fertility for women after diseases such as ovarian cancer that lead to destruction of reproductive tissue. The same technique can also be used to maintain stocks of farm animals, and protect against extinction of endangered animal species.
Credit: iStockphoto

Emerging cryopreservation techniques are increasing hope of restoring fertility for women after diseases such as ovarian cancer that lead to destruction of reproductive tissue. The same techniques can also be used to maintain stocks of farm animals, and protect against extinction of endangered animal species by maintaining banks of ovarian tissue or even nascent embryos that can be used to produce offspring at some point in the future.

Until now these clearly related fields of research concerning preservation of animal and human ovarian tissue have been largely separate, but are now coming together to reinforce each other, following a highly successful workshop on cryopreservation of ovarian tissue, organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF). The human and animals cryopreservation fields have much to teach each other, and progress in both is likely to be accelerated as a result of growing collaboration, according to the ESF workshop's convenor Claus Yding Andersen.

Both parties can learn from each other," said Andersen. "Experiments which cannot be performed in women can be done in animal species," he noted, pointing out that much of the progress in humans has come as a result of animal experiments. But it is in humans where most successful transplantations of frozen ovarian tissue after thawing have been carried out, and where greatest experience in the field has been gained. Therefore the ESF conference considered how this could be applied to conservation of endangered species. "The vast experience in women, with several children born as a result of transplantation of frozen/thawed ovarian tissue, can be applied in endangered species to know where to implant and how to obtain pregnancies," said Andersen. The techniques will also be valuable in agriculture, for preserving ovaries of farm animals in tissue banks with the potential for subsequent re-creation.

The conference highlighted recent progress in human ovarian cryopreservation, which has led so far to 25 women worldwide having ovarian tissue transplanted. Of these 25, five have given birth to babies following the successful transplantation of the frozen/thawed ovarian tissue, including two in Belgium, one in Israel, and two in Denmark. "We are likely to see a lot more of this coming in the coming years, including development of techniques for fertility preservation using different approaches," said Andersen. Most of these women had lost fertility following treatment for various forms of cancer. Currently more than a thousand women globally have had their tissue cryopreserved in an attempt to preserve fertility. This number is likely to increase in future as the transplantation technology becomes more mature and widely available.

The approach used most widely so far for cryopreservation involves slow freezing, which minimises the damage caused by forming ice crystals to the follicles, the reproductive units containing the individual oocytes (eggs). However a new approach based on vitrification may achieve even better results, with both methods discussed at the ESF conference. Vitrification involves the conversion of ovarian tissue into a glass-like form without the damaging ice crystals, and can be achieved by very rapid freezing, for example by dowsing in liquid nitrogen. This supercools the water in the tissue, achieving a semi-solid form without formation of the crystals that destroy individual cells.

The ESF workshop will help give Europe a healthy base to expand cryopreservation research by unifying the human and animal sectors and applying common expertise and tools." I believe that we had a very good interaction between all participants and the workshop has already established new collaborations and interactions," said Andersen.

The ESF workshop, CryopreservationOf Ovarian Tissue In Cancer Patients, Farm Animals And Endangered Species, was held in Heidelberg, Germany in May 2008. Each year, ESF supports approximately 50 Exploratory Workshops across all scientific domains. These small, interactive group sessions are aimed at opening up new directions in research to explore new fields with a potential impact on developments in science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Science Foundation. "Cryopreservation Techniques Bring Hopes For Women Cancer Victims And Endangered Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080910090825.htm>.
European Science Foundation. (2008, September 11). Cryopreservation Techniques Bring Hopes For Women Cancer Victims And Endangered Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080910090825.htm
European Science Foundation. "Cryopreservation Techniques Bring Hopes For Women Cancer Victims And Endangered Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080910090825.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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