A baby boy was born from ovarian tissue cryopreserved (frozen) when the mother was 14 years old. The mother (now 27 years old) had to undergo treatment for sickle-cell anaemia before her menarche. The treatment involved myeloablative (severe/complete depletion of bone marrow cells) conditioning as part of the stem cell transplantation procedure used to treat the condition.
Chemotherapy and ovarian cryopreservation
The woman was diagnosed with homozygous sickle-cell anaemia at the age of 5. The life-threatening condition meant she had to undergo stem cell transplantation, given by her brother.
The procedure involved chemotherapy to suppress the immune system and avoid allograft rejection (immune response that would reject her brother’s tissue). However, chemotherapy was likely to result in infertility, meaning she would not be able to bear a child when she became an adult.
In order to circumvent this risk, the doctors removed part of her ovarian tissue and cryopreserved it. The procedure was undertaken when she was 14 years old. Although she was at puberty, she was not menstruating.
Following the procedure, as expected, the remaining part of the ovary that was still within the patient, was not functional. This meant she would not have been able to bear a child when she became an adult.
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