A 34-year-old French woman who could not get pregnant after treatment for breast cancer was able to give birth to a child. A possible birth thanks to a new technique consisting in collecting its immature eggs before freezing them. This success represents an important advance in the field of fertility preservation, rejoiced Michal Grynberg, director of the reproductive medicine department at Antoine Bclre de Clamart hospital (Hauts-de-Seine). It was within the walls of this hospital that this world premiere in the field of cancer took place.
There, women under the age of 40 who are going to undergo treatment that may affect their fertility, such as chemotherapy, are offered to freeze their oocytes to preserve their chances of future pregnancy. Normally, mature eggs are taken after hormone stimulation, but in hormone-dependent breast cancer, as was the case with Professor Grynberg’s patient, stimulation is contraindicated.
Jules was born in July
His team therefore collected seven immature oocytes before maturing them in the laboratory for 48 hours, then vitrifying them (an ultra-rapid method of freezing which allows better conservation), details an article published Wednesday in the journal Annals of Oncology. The patient was then treated for breast cancer with chemotherapy. After five years of relapse, she was declared cured but could not conceive due to successful treatment. His oocytes were then thawed and inseminated in vitro. One of the five eggs thus formed was successfully implanted, and the patient gave birth in July 2019 to a healthy little boy named Jules.
A mnopause woman gives birth to twins
The same team, in collaboration with the Jean-Verdier hospital, announced that they had used this same technique in June 2019, in association with embryonic vitrification, to allow a young woman with early menopause to give birth to twins. Two other pregnancies are currently in progress at the CHU of Clamart after using the same technique, he added.
Infertile cause of cancer
In the case of breast cancer, about 40% of women 40 years of age become infertile because of their treatment, and 15% 20% of women 30 years, estimates the obstetrician-gyncologist, stressing the importance of the preservation of fertility in young women treated for cancer.