BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 23 October, 2000, 23:42 GMT 00:42 UK
Ovarian transplant hope
chemo syringe
Chemotherapy need not lead to infertility in future
Women may in future be able to have their own ovaries removed and retransplanted later to avoid infertility due to cancer treatment.

Researcher have successfully restored ovarian function and menstrual cycles in monkeys whose ovaries had been surgically removed.

The success of the procedure in primates has led the researchers to believe that it could also work well in women.

Ovarian tissue could be removed from a woman before chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment and replaced afterwards to avoid permanent menopause.

Researchers from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in the US transplanted ovarian tissue into the arms of six monkeys.

Functioning ovaries

Five of the monkeys had functioning ovaries after the transplant, meaning that they could produce eggs and conceive.

Another group of five monkeys had a growth factor administered as well as having the ovarian tissue transplant.

Of these, two went on to have functioning ovaries.

Five monkeys had ovarian tissue frozen and then transplanted and two of these also functioned normally.

Measurement of hormone levels confirmed that the ovaries were working, the scientists told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual conference.

"This study demonstrates that the transplantation of both fresh and frozen ovarian tissue can restore ovarian function and produce mature eggs in primates," said lead author Dr John Schnorr.

The study closely follows another breakthrough which could avoid women undergoing cancer treatment having to face infertility.

Another team of US scientists has managed to prevent the destruction of eggs in mice exposed to radiotherapy.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Oct 00 | Health
Fertility hope for cancer women
11 Jul 00 | Background Briefings
The future of fertility
26 Jun 00 | Health
Mouse muscle nurses human eggs
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories