In a novel approach at preserving fertility, researchers have successfully produced live offspring from cryopreserved testicle tissue.
You may think that cryopreserving testicle tissue is kind of a stretch- but many cancer patients undergoing treatments don’t have options when it comes to preserving fertility. Doctors can cryopreserve sperm if the patient has already reached puberty, but for young boys, that’s not an option.
By cryopreserving testicle tissue, researchers are able to thaw tissue at a later date and induce the production of sperm. This research was carried out in mice, and through artificial insemination, eight healthy offspring were produced! Amazingly, thawed tissue was able to produce sperm just as well as unfrozen tissue.
There’s still some work to be done before this research can be translated into humans. But as more and more pediatric cancer patients are being successfully cured of their diseases, this research could mean life-changing, long-term fertility options. Read more about it here:
A clinical trial in human patients with ovarian cancer has shown some promising results. All patients in this study were undergoing chemotherapy, but some received high doses of intravenous vitamin C as well. After following these patients for five years, it was found that the patients who received vitamin C experienced fewer toxic effects from chemo!
That’s pretty good news. And this is an interesting example of animal research at work. Years ago, oral doses of vitamin C weren’t found to be effective. But by working with a combination of cell cultures and animals, researchers were able to determine that IV doses could be much more effective than oral doses, and they found that at high doses, vitamin C can kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. Often, drugs administered by different routes can work in different ways- when taken orally, vitamin C is often absorbed quickly and doesn’t stay in your system for long. So animals played a big role in understanding the proper route of administration, and now human patients will be seeing the benefits of that work!
Now that safety and toxicity studies have been performed, expect to see this therapy introduced into further clinical trials! Are you interested in clinical trials in your area? Go to www.clinicaltrials.gov!
A novel treatment proves successful in patients with INCURABLE cases of leukemia! 59 patients who had exhausted all other treatment options were treated with a new therapy at UPenn. Out of 32 adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), 15 responded to the treatment and 7 experienced complete remissions. All of the 5 first adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) experienced complete remissions!
But the most amazing results were seen in pediatric cancer patients! Out of 22 patients with ALL, 80% experienced complete remissions! And keep in mind- these were all patients whose cancer was completely resistant to all other types of chemotherapy and who would have died.
Here’s how it works: T-cells are collected from the patient and are then genetically modified so that they target tumor cells. These modified T-cells are then infused back into the patient, where they begin to do their jobs. Because the T-cells are made to target only the proteins expressed on cancer cells, normal cells are left alone. And these T-cells remain in the body, protecting patients from relapse! (Check out link below for details.)
Please take a minute and watch the videos in the below links- definitely worth your time! Amazing what research can do!