Fertility hope for survivors of childhood cancer

Wednesday 24th November 2021 06:11 EST

There is hope for men left infertile by childhood cancer treatment thanks to revolutionary fertility transplants. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh will seek permission in the new year to start the first human trials of the treatment. Cancer is affecting growing numbers of children; cases in the UK have risen by about 24 per cent since the 1990s. Scientists believe that increased pollution is partly driving the rise.

Experts said progress on the treatment would bring hope to boys requiring treatments such as chemotherapy before puberty, which can damage their ability to make sperm in adulthood.
Since 2016 scientists in Edinburgh and Oxford have been taking and freezing biopsies of healthy testicular tissue from children with cancer before they start treatment in the hope that the technology will evolve to allow them to father babies in future. If permission is granted for trials, it will be the first time they have been able to reimplant the tissue samples in cancer survivors.

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