Cancer Patient 'Overjoyed' after Success of Frozen Ovary Treatment

7/21/2016 7:39:24 AM

Britdget Morris, a journalist for thenational.scot writes about a cancer patient who has become the first UK person to give birth after having frozen tissue from her ovaries reimplanted.

Here is the rest of her article:

A CANCER patient who has become the first woman in the UK to give birth after having frozen tissue from her ovaries reimplanted said she is “astonished and overjoyed” at the success of the treatment.

The 33-year-old, from Edinburgh, had a section of her ovary removed and frozen 11 years ago after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The treatment to fight the disease meant she went through the menopause in her early 20s, and she said it was a “wonderful surprise” to have conceived naturally. She gave birth to a healthy boy earlier this month.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the procedure to remove ovarian tissue was “very new and experimental” when it was carried out more than a decade ago.

She added: “There was no guarantee that it would work and while I kept the possibility in the back of my mind, my husband and I never pinned our hopes on it being successful.

“It was hard to imagine how well it could work, given that my tissue had been stored for such a long time and I had already had one round of chemotherapy before it was removed.

“That the reimplanted tissue took so quickly then, came as a really wonderful surprise.”

While undergoing treatment, her doctors sent her for a consultation with fertility specialists. Research led by Edinburgh University aims to ensure children and young people being treated for cancer can go on to become parents in later life.

The success of her treatment has been hailed as a breakthrough which can give “real hope” to patients who face being left infertile.

She said: “I had one small surgical procedure before I began my second round of chemotherapy and now, 10 years on, my husband and I have been able to have a family. We never thought it would be possible and we are just astonished and overjoyed. We are extremely grateful to all the people involved in this process.

“When you’re going through cancer treatment it can be hard to think about the future, but I do think this will offer hope to others that they could one day have a family.”

Staff at the university worked in close collaboration with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service on the research, which was funded by the European Union, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the charity Children with Cancer.

Professor Richard Anderson, Elsie Inglis chair of clinical reproductive science, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: “This gives real hope to girls and young women facing treatment that may cause them to become infertile, and shows how some medical advances can take a long time to show their benefits.

“It comes at a time when NHS services for fertility preservation are developing across the UK, and we hope it will be the impetus to provide that to all who are in need.”

Dr Rod Mitchell, Wellcome Trust intermediate clinical fellow, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, said the team had also “very recently developed a service to store testicular tissue from boys as young as one who are at risk of infertility as a result of cancer treatment”.

He added: “Although still considered experimental, the option to store tissue, combined with research aimed at developing methods to restore fertility, offers real hope of fatherhood for these patients. We hope that in the future we will be in a position to see similar success in young men to that which we have now shown for women.”

Link to Article

 

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