Beilinson: The world's largest study on fertility preservation in young girls
For the first time the freezing of mature egg cells of young girls after chemotherapy was completed successfully. To date, ovarian tissue has been frozen. This procedure significantly increases the chances of these young girls becoming pregnant as adults.
Oncologists, pediatric surgeons and fertility experts combined efforts and using groundbreaking technologies in every field, and managed to save 395 egg cells of 42 young girls with cancer.
The youngest is only two years old!
The study was published in the world's leading fertility magazine.
Prof. Benjamin Fish, Director of the Beilinson IVF Unit: "We were surprised to find mature egg cells in such young girls."
Unlike mature women with cancer who undergo a process of egg cell extraction before their oncological treatment, in young girls with cancer it is customary to extract ovarian tissue or to take a biopsy from the ovaries and freeze it. The concern in this procedure is that in the future, in the return procedure, diseased ovarian tissue which may contain malignant cells will be put back in their body. This method is practiced today in young girls because until now it was impossible to extract egg cells from such young girls. Therefore, there was no other choice but to freeze ovarian tissue and in the future return it to the body, since they wanted take every step necessary to preserve the fertility chances of young girls with cancer.
In 2007-2014 the leading experts and researchers in the field of fertility, oncology, pediatric surgery from Beilinson and Schneider hospitals attempted to find another fertility preservation solution for those young girls and conducted extensive research, the world's largest to date, involving 42 young girls aged 2 to 18 years. The study was published this last May in the world's leading fertility magazine: Human Reproduction, twenty two of the patients were before chemotherapy and 20 after chemotherapy.
The uniqueness of the study is that the reserchers managed to find egg cells that could mature. The advantage is that they increase the chances of these young girls becoming pregnant in the future.
Prof. Benjamin Fish, Director of the Beilinson IVF Unit: "The fact that the egg cells of such young girls can mature is very surprising.
We managed to mature an egg cell of a two-year-old girl, a 3-year-old girl, and in a 5-year-old girl we found 31 egg cells that could mature. These are amazing findings.
All that without giving hormones to the young girl; in laboratory conditions we managed to bring the egg cells to a state in which they are ready for fertilization. In total, we found 395 egg cells from the 42 girls.
This is the first report in the world of such a large series of combined freezing (ovarian tissue + mature egg cells) in young girls."
This combined study included physicians from many fields and integrated different disciplines:
From the Schneider Children's Medical Center: Prof. Yitzhak Yaniv, Dr. Shifra Ash (Oncology) and Prof. Naftali Freud (Pediatric Surgery).
From the Davidoff Center - The Beilinson Cancer Center: Prof. Salomon Stammer, Dr. Irit Ben-Aharon.
from the Fertility and In Vitro Fertilization Unit at Beilinson Hospital: Prof. Benjamin Fish, Director of the Unit, Prof. Ronit Abir, Director of the Fertility Preservation Laboratory, Dr. Onit Sapir, Director of the In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory, Prof. Avi Ben Harosh, Director of the Fertility Preservation Service.