Fertility ‘breakthrough’ as human eggs grown in lab for first time
Resea-rchers have revealed that human eggs can be developed in the lab from their earliest stages to maturity, giving hope to women at risk of premature fertility loss.While such an accomplishment has previously been achieved for mouse eggs, the process has proved tricky in humans. Experts say the latest development could not only aid the understanding of how human eggs develop, but open the door to a new approach to fertility preservation for women at risk of premature fertility loss, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The research could be particularly relevant for girls who have not gone through puberty. As of now, ovarian tissue is taken before treatment and frozen for later implantation to preserve their fertility. “[For young girls] that is the only option they have to preserve their fertility,” said Prof Evelyn Telfer, co-author of the research from the University of Edinburgh. The new research offers a way for eggs to be extracted, grown and used, without the need to re-implant the tissue. “When you have got the eggs, of course you would have no contaminating cells – hopefully it would be an embryo that you would be implanting back in,” said Telfer. But it would be several years before the technique could be used in clinics, with further tests needed to make sure the mature eggs are normal and the process safe, she warned.
-Source: The Guardian