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Home Industry News First ovarian transplant ‘a success’

First ovarian transplant ‘a success’

3rd August 2007

A woman whose ovaries had failed has had the first successful transplantation of ovarian tissue from her sister, doctors have reported.

Teresa Alvaro, 37, became infertile in 1990 after undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy for an inherited blood disorder. At that time there were no procedures available for removing and freezing her eggs or ovarian tissue.

In 2006 Ms Alvaro’s sister Sandra, 34, donated some of her ovarian tissue which was then sown onto one of Teresa’s ovaries by a team led by Professor Jacques Donnez, head of the department of gynaecology and professor and chairman at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium.

Six months later, Teresa started menstrual bleeding, indicating, along with her hormone levels, that ovarian function had been restored.

Earlier this year Belgium doctors removed two mature oocytes from her ovary and fertilised them with her husband’s sperm.

Although the embryos did not develop beyond the three-cell stage, doctors and Ms Alvaro are hopeful the treatment may be more successful in the future.

Professor Donnez said: “We do not know why the embryos ceased to develop, but this also happens during normal cycles of IVF. The patient is planning more IVF attempts in the future.”

Ms Alvaro’s case is reported in the journal Human Reproduction.

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