Incredibly researchers at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have found a possible solution to infertility in boys post cancer treatment.
Using monkeys, they found that harvesting the testes of pre-pubescent male monkeys before making them infertile, cryogenically freezing the testes, thawing and grafting a small piece of the testes under the skin of the monkey leading to testosterone production:
“during the 8- to 12-month observation period, grafts grew and produced testosterone. Complete spermatogenesis was confirmed in all grafts at the time of recovery. Graft-derived sperm were competent to fertilize rhesus oocytes, leading to preimplantation embryo development, pregnancy, and the birth of a healthy female baby.”
There were issues however, most significantly being that although fertilisation of 138 eggs with sperm occurred, only 11 embryos developed enough to be viable options and of those, only one developed all the way to birth – Baby Grady.
Although there is still substantial work required until this would be a viable option in humans, it is encouraging for the parents of boys who may face radiology or chemotherapy as young children.[Photo by Oregon Health and Science Univerisity]