Stem cell treatment may restore male fertility
Scientists say it may be possible to restore sperm production in boys who are left infertile by childhood cancer treatments, BBC News reported.
One of the harmful side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is that the treatments also kill cells which make sperm. However, in a new study on monkeys, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Magee-Womens Research Institute extracted sperm-producing stem cells before cancer treatment and later restored the cells.
Nine out of 12 adult monkeys and three out of five prepubescent monkeys were later able to produce healthy sperm again – meaning the sperm was capable of fertilizing female eggs.
While male cancer patients have the option of freezing sperm before treatment, this is not an option for patients who have not yet goon through puberty.