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Goodbye Infertility: Common Cancer Drug Triggers Egg Development!

Dec 08, 2016 10:19 AM EST

It seems the answer to solve infertility lies in another place. Infertile women have been offered a new kind of hope as scientists discovered that a common cancer drug has triggered the development of new eggs. This was something that other scientists thought may not be possible.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh proved it may be possible to "reverse the clock" and coax ovaries back into a pre-pubescent state to produce new eggs with the help of the said drug.

According to Telegraph, as women are born with all their eggs, conceiving may become harder with age as eggs grow old, damaged and run out.

Interestingly, scientists also noticed that women who had undergone chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma with a drug combination known as ABVD had up to 10 times the number of eggs as healthy women.

This is far from damaging the chance of having a baby. Another Telegraph article explained that the shock of chemotherapy may trigger stem cells in the ovaries to produce new follicles in order to produce eggs. 

Lead researcher Evelyn Telfer from the University of Edinburgh said that they were "astonished" to see that the tissue looked like that of a pre-pubescent stage with a high density of follicles. This is not commonly seen in adults.

They knew that the ABVD does not have a sterilizing effect, but to see that it can make new eggs is surprising.

According to National Post, scientists analyzed samples of ovarian tissue donated by 14 women who had undergone chemotherapy, alongside tissues from 12 healthy women. Interestingly, they found out that women who had undergone ABVD treatment had four to 10 times more eggs compared with tissue from women who received different chemotherapy procedures or are just healthy.

Although the eggs are on their premature stage, scientists are trying to find out how they were created, and how they can help bring them to maturity. 

Future studies may examine the separate impact of each of the drugs that combine to make ABVD -- adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine. 

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