Conceiving after cancer therapy might be possible without many problems, researchers at Erlangen University Hospital have found.
Their findings are based on a case in Germany where healthy ovarian tissue has been taken from a non-pregnant woman with cancer and then re-implanted after cancer therapy.
Researchers found that the patient, who is now 32 years old, could become pregnant as a result of the treatment.
Ralf Dittrich and his colleagues from Erlangen University Hospital said that anal carcinoma was diagnosed in this young patient in 2004 and chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy was recommended.
Since the ovaries lie near to the tumour, they are often damaged by therapy of this sort and the women become infertile.
Doctors succeeded in removing healthy ovarian tissue from the woman before treatment and to freeze it.
The patient was then given the recommended cancer treatment. She tolerated this well and has not suffered any relapse.
On contrary, her menstrual periods had stopped, in spite of hormone treatment, for two years.
For this reason, the patient's conserved ovarian material was inserted endoscopically into her pelvis.
Later on, she reported her first menstruation.
After this operation, it might be possible for her to become pregnant, although this has not happened yet.
According to researchers, the affected patients should be provided with more information, so that they are aware of this possibility of retaining fertility.
The case has been described in the current issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International.