Cancer Patients Gain Fertility Hope

Eggs from girls as young as 5 can be frozen before chemotherapy
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2007 8:37 AM CDT
Cancer Patients Gain Fertility Hope
Emily Morin, 4, sells a cup of lemonade to Joye Fisher of Omaha, in Omaha, Neb., Friday, June 1, 2007. Emily and another girl have set up a lemonade stand here to raise money for cancer research. The girls offer more than a refreshing drink; they provide buyers a first-hand look at those affected by...   (Associated Press)

Prepubescent girls with cancer do not have to give up the prospect of parenthood because of the effects of chemotherapy. Cancer patients as young as 5 can have their eggs removed and frozen before treatment, preserving their fertility, according to research by Israeli scientists. With childhood cancer survival rates climbing, that's good news for a growing number of patients.

Eggs, ovarian tissue, and fertilized embryos can be cultivated from adults, but young girls have only egg follicles, which do not develop until puberty. Researchers harvested immature eggs from girls aged 5 to 10, chemically matured them, then froze the eggs. The resulting material hasn't been thawed, but one researcher says he's encouraged, especially because the girls were so young. (More eggs stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.