Page URL:

Success in ovarian tissue grafting

29 June 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 265

BioNews reporting from the ESHRE conference, Berlin:
Danish researchers have reported that they are on the verge of producing a pregnancy from frozen-thawed human ovarian tissue, while in Belgium it transpires that a woman is already 25 weeks pregnant following similar treatment - the first time this treatment has ever led to a pregnancy.

Dr Claus Yding Andersen, from the University of Copenhagen, told the conference that an ovary was removed from a 32-year old woman, diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, who was about to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy that would make her infertile. The ovary was frozen and then thawed after two years, when the woman was no longer receiving cancer treatment. In April 2003, six strips of the ovarian tissue were grafted to the woman's remaining ovary, which had stopped functioning, becoming menopausal as a result of the cancer treatment.

Eight weeks later, as a result of the grafts, ultrasound and hormone tests showed that the ovaries had begun to function again, and her menstrual cycle restarted. Since then, the ovary has produced eggs, but three attempts to establish a pregnancy in the woman have been unsuccessful. The first cycle used IVF with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) in an attempt to create an embryo, but the egg did not fertilise. In the second, intra-uterine insemination (IUI) was attempted, but this also failed. In the third attempt, again using ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), a two-celled embryo was created on 1 June 2004. This was transferred to the woman's uterus, but failed to implant. Dr Andersen said, however, that the team would keep trying, and that 'it is only a matter of time before a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child after having a thawed ovarian transplant'.

However, it emerged at the conference press briefing that a pregnancy after the use of frozen-thawed ovarian tissue had actually already been established, in another woman who had undergone treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. The baby, a girl, was conceived naturally after ovarian tissue grafts restored the mother's fertility, and is due at the beginning of October. The team, from Louvain University in Brussels, say, however, that it is not yet established whether the woman's remaining ovary started to function normally again, or if the egg that was fertilised came from the grafted ovarian tissue. Professor Jacques Donnez, leader of the research team, confirmed the story on Belgian radio, saying the woman 'is pregnant', adding 'it's her child genetically, growing from her tissue, and she fell pregnant completely naturally'.

In March 2004, a team at Cornell University reported the first human embryo produced following a frozen-thawed ovarian tissue transplant, but no pregnancy resulted. In October 2003, the first primate birth following transfer of frozen-thawed ovarian tissue - a rhesus macaque monkey - was announced. At the time it was hoped that the technique would soon lead to a human birth. Now it looks like the Belgian team will be the first to make such an announcement, however, details of the pregnancy have yet to appear in a scientific publication.

Baby on way after frozen ovary graft
The Daily Telegraph |  30 June 2004
Infertile woman expecting baby after ovarian tissue transplant
The Guardian |  30 June 2004
Ovary transplant pregnancy first
BBC News Online |  29 June 2004
Ovary transplant success
The Independent |  30 June 2004
17 November 2008 - by Adam Fletcher 
A 39-year old woman has become the first to give birth following a whole ovary transplant. Susanne Butscher received an intact ovary from her fertile twin sister last year, during a landmark operation carried out by Dr Sherman Silber of the Infertility Centre of St Louis...
6 January 2006 - by BioNews 
New European rules on the use and storage of human tissue could deny young British women undergoing cancer treatment the chance to preserve their fertility, according to a report in the Times newspaper. The requirements of the new EU Tissues and Cells Directive make it prohibitively expensive for many centres...
3 October 2005 - by BioNews 
A US woman who became infertile after cancer treatment has stunned doctors by becoming pregnant naturally, following a transplant of ovarian tissue into her abdomen. Ann Dauer, from Canton, Ohio has now given birth to a healthy baby girl, named Sienna. Mrs Dauer had one of her ovaries removed and...
15 September 2005 - by BioNews 
Israeli scientists have obtained early sheep embryos after transplanting whole ovaries that had been frozen and thawed. The researchers, based at the Institute of Animal Science, Agriculture Research Organisation, Bet Dagan, report that the ovaries were still working normally three years after the transplant. They say their findings, published in...
1 July 2005 - by BioNews 
An Israeli woman has given birth to a healthy baby girl after undergoing an ovarian tissue transplant, following cancer treatment that left her infertile. The 28-year-old woman, treated at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, is only the second patient in the world to have given birth after...
11 March 2004 - by BioNews 
Scientists in the US have become the first to produce a viable human embryo using an egg collected from ovarian tissue that had been kept in frozen storage. Dr Kutluk Oktay and colleagues from Cornell University Weill Medical College published their research in the early online version of The Lancet...
13 October 2003 - by BioNews 
US scientists have carried out the world's first successful ovary tissue transplant in a primate, and have used one of the resulting eggs to produce a healthy IVF baby monkey. Team leader David Lee, of Oregon University, said it was the first time transplanted ovarian tissue had been used to...
1 October 2001 - by BioNews 
A team of scientists from Leeds and Manchester have shown that ovarian transplants may be successful in preserving the fertility of women who have recovered from cancer. Previously, these women faced becoming infertile because cancer treatments using drugs or radiation could damage their ovaries. The team, led by Dr Samuel...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.