New research may help to preserve fertility in boys with cancer

March 27, 2019

Over the past 40 years, tremendous success has been achieved in helping children fight cancer, causing survival rates to rise from 10% to nearly 80%. As these children go on to live longer lives, the medical community has started to focus on how to improve the long lasting consequences of harsh cancer treatments.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have just made a landmark discovery in their search to preserve fertility in young male patients with cancer. This technique utilizes cryogenically preserved testicular tissue to create sperm which can later be used for in vitro fertilization. These results were confirmed after a monkey was successfully born from cryopreserved testicular tissue.

Although this study focused on monkeys, it brings hope to the possibility of human trials in the near future. According to Susan Taymans, a researcher from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “prior to this discovery, it was uncertain if we could make mature sperm mature sperm from immature cells. We have now shown that this can lead to healthy, mature sperm cells which can fertilize an egg and give rise to a healthy offspring.

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