Offering hope to the millions of younger women who face losing their fertility after chemotherapy, Israeli doctors have succeeded in reversing infertility caused by cancer treatment.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported that a 28-year-old woman gave birth Monday to a healthy baby girl after an ovarian tissue transplant performed by Dr. Dror Meirow and Prof. Shuki Dor of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv reversed infertility caused by the woman’s previous treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This appears to be the first time scientists have managed to preserve fertility by freezing ovarian tissue and then transplanting it in humans, the researchers said. The method could become an accepted solution for cancer-stricken women who want to give birth, if additional experiments prove the method to be effective.
Details of the procedure will appear in the July 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, but were released Monday to coincide with the birth of the baby at Sheba.
The Israeli woman highlighted in the report initially underwent two unsuccessful courses of conventional chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Before attempting a high-dose regimen, she asked that ovarian tissue be removed and frozen.
“I wasn’t so keen about it because she had already had two chemotherapy courses, but she persisted,” study senior author Dr. Jehoshua Dor, director of the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Center at Sheba, told Red Nova.
Two years later, after she had recovered from the lymphoma, lab tests showed she remained infertile. Strips of her frozen tissue were attached to her left ovary and fragments of it were injected into the right one.