Dr Kaylen Silverberg, of Texas Fertility Center in Austin, TX and his co-authors just published a paper about a patient who conceived following radical cervical cancer treatment. Using IVF stimulation and freezing her embryos, Texas Fertility Center was able to protect the patient’s fertility while she underwent extensive cancer treatment. Following radical surgery to remove her cervix, where the cancerous lesion was first found, the patient also underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiation of the ovaries and uterus.
Once the patient was clear of the cancer and following the completion of her chemotherapy and radiation, Dr Silverberg and his team were able to successfully stimulate the patient’s uterus to generate a lining sufficient to support a pregnancy. They then implanted one of the frozen embryos that the patient and her husband had stored with Austin IVF prior to cancer treatment. The patient fortunately conceived and she then carried the baby until 24 weeks of pregnancy. At that time, she unfortunately lost the baby due to an unrelated obstetric complication. Because of the emotional and physical stress on the patient, a known gestational carrier was used to conceive a second baby that was delivered at term and is doing fine.
This paper, published in the recent issue of Gynecologic Oncology, gives hope to the thousands of young women who are treated for gynecologic cancers every year. Whereas previously these women had a very poor prognosis – they would either not survive their cancer or would be sterile following treatment – they now have legitimate hope for a fertile future following cancer treatment.
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