New hope for women made infertile by cancer drugs
Scientists have made "exciting" progress in the development of artificial "ovaries" to help preserve women's fertility.
Immature eggs have been shown for the first time in a laboratory to survive on ovarian tissue which was removed from cancer patients before treatment and stripped of cells, researchers said.
It is hoped this engineered structure could be re-implanted into women and restore fertility after they have completed chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Many cancer treatments can damage the ovaries, stopping the body from producing eggs and meaning a woman cannot get pregnant.
Scientists from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, proved the graft worked when using human tissue transplanted into mice.
Experts said the research, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) annual meeting in Barcelona, "holds much promise for the future".