A first! Healthy baby born to cancer patient after eggs extracted five years prior

Image: Medistock/ Shutterstock

(Madison Dapcevich/ IFL Science) — After chemotherapy left her infertile, a French women is now a new mother to a healthy baby boy after becoming the first person to successfully undergo an innovative new procedure known as in vitro maturation (IVM).

At 29-years-old, the unnamed woman was diagnosed with grade III invasive ductal carcinoma, breast cancer that tested positive for both estrogen and progesterone. Before undergoing cancer treatment, a woman may be presented with the option to undergo egg retrieval procedures that require hormonal treatment. In her case, this option would have been too risky given the presence of reproductive hormones in her tumor.

Within six days of her diagnosis, doctors performed an emergency procedure to harvest seven immature eggs, foregoing the use of hormones to stimulate and ripen the oocytes – two options that would have taken too long and likely have made her cancer worse. The eggs were then matured in a laboratory using hormonal cultures typical of IVM before being frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen, according to a letter in the journal Annals of Oncology. (…)

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