X-Message-Number: 24709
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 16:10:08 -0700
From: Mathew Sullivan <>
Subject: First Baby Born from Frozen Ovaries


First Baby Born from Frozen Ovaries

Healthy child suggests fertility preservation technique is safe

Betterhumans Staff
9/24/2004 4:48 PM

Credit: Amanda Rohde
Stopping the clock: A healthy baby born from ovarian tissue frozen six 
years marks a milestone for a technique that can preserve women's fertility

Seven years after putting her ovarian tissue in cold storage, a Belgian 
woman has become the first to have a child using a procedure that promises 
to preserve fertility.

Ouarda Touirat, 32, gave birth to a healthy, 3.72 kilogram (about 8.2 
pound) baby girl named Tamara yesterday at the 
<http://www.md.ucl.ac.be/luc/luc_eng.htm>Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc 
in Brussels, Belgium.

"Our findings open new perspectives for young cancer patients facing 
premature ovarian failure," says Jacques Donnez of 
<http://www.ucl.ac.be/>Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, 
who led the research. "Ovarian tissue cryopreservation should be an option 
offered to all young women diagnosed with cancer, in conjunction with other 
existing options for fertility preservation."

Reproductive restoration

It is hoped that the preservation technique, which involves removing 
<http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovary>ovarian tissue and storing it at cold 
temperatures, could allow women to preserve their fertility when they might 
lose it to treatment procedures and possibly even aging.

Only about one year ago, researchers reported on 
in monkeys in which transplanted ovarian tissue led to a live birth. Early 
this year, researchers reported that ovarian tissue frozen for six years 
regained function and 
eggs that led to an embryo. But the embryo was created through in vitro 

Touirat had <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemotherapy>chemotherapy for 
Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1997 at 25, before which doctors took and froze five 
pieces of tissue from her left ovary. Three months after her cancer 
treatment, her ovaries stopped working.

Last February, Donnez and colleagues reimplanted the ovarian tissue. Five 
months later, Touirat began ovulating, and eleven months later she became 
pregnant through sex.

While Tamara's birth suggests that the technique is safe, the researchers 
caution that there could be a risk of reimplanting cancerous cells with the 
stored ovarian tissue.

The procedure is reported in <http://www.thelancet.com/>The Lancet.

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