Following on the news of the birth in London to a 24 year old woman from implanted cryopreserved ovarian tissue taken when she was nine years old - a world first - a paper has just been published in Human Fertility on the background needs for such preservation. The study, by Jensen, Yding Andersen (pictured here) and others, looks at the need for ovarian tissue cryopreservation in girls undergoing radiation treatment and concludes it should be recommended to all young girls, who present a high risk of developing ovarian insufficiency or infertility following high doses of chemotherapy and/or irradiation. The cohort study examined a total of 176 Danish girls under 18 years of age who had received ovarian tissue cryopreservation performed over a period of 15 years
The latest birth in London was to a Mrs Al Matrooshi who had needed chemotherapy before receiving a bone marrow transplant. As a precautionary measure her right ovary was removed in an operation in Leeds and the tissue frozen by Professor Helen Picton and her team. The procedure to store the tissue in 2001 was done before any birth from ovarian tissue preservation had occurred, the first such birth being in Belgium 2004. Both the first and the latest births from frozen ovarian tissue used Planer programmable freezers.
Prof Picton, who oversaw the tissue-freezing at Leeds University, reported to the BBC, that in Europe alone, several thousand girls and young women have had ovarian tissue frozen and stored. The paper from the Copenhagen researchers concludes that "Although it cannot be predicted which girls will become infertile or develop premature ovarian insufficiency following intensive chemotherapy or irradiation, patients who are at high risk should be offered ovarian tissue cryopreservation. This includes girls who are planned to receive either high doses of alkylating agents, conditioning regimen before stem cell transplantation, total body irradiation or high radiation doses to the craniospinal, abdominal or pelvic area."
Worldwide more than 60 babies have been born from women who had their fertility restored, but Moaza is the first case from pre-pubertal freezing and the first from a patient who had treatment for beta thalassaemia.