When a woman is diagnosed with cancer, she often has to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This treatment can cause the ovaries to stop functioning and leave the patient infertile. But doctors around the world have been working on ways to remove, freeze and restore a woman's ovarian tissue.
New advancement in the use of frozen ovarian tissue could prove to be very promising for women being treated for cancer. Specialists say they removed and froze the left ovary of a woman who was about to undergo treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. Two years later, they transplanted six strips from the frozen ovary back to the remaining ovary and eight weeks later, tests showed the ovary was beginning to function again.
Since then, researchers have had two unsuccessful attempts at getting the woman pregnant, but on June 1, 2004 the team succeeded in creating a two-cell embryo. The embryo was transferred to the woman's uterus, but she did not become pregnant. Thus researchers say it is only a matter of time before a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child after having a thawed ovarian transplant.
While ovarian-tissue transplant is still in the early stages, specialists say just giving women hope that they may be able to have children one day helps them fight their cancer.