A revolutionary new transplant procedure could help men left sterile by cancer become fathers
University of Edinburgh and Oxford are seeking permission to start a clinical trial on humans in 2022 for the first time, according to the Telegraph.
The procedure could see fathers be biologically connected to the offspring and not have to rely on sperm donors.
A 24 percent rise in childhood cancer since the 1990s is being blamed on pollution, and researchers have said the new treatment offers ‘real hope’ to boy cancer sufferers who undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Many boys under the age of 16 do not have the option to produce a sperm sample before undergoing treatment, something over 16s are offered.
Animal studies have shown that tissues develop inside the body and produce sperm, which can be extracted for use in IVF treatment and lead to a healthy baby.
Professor Rod Mitchell, lead researcher of the project at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are all very excited about it.
“The fact that we are about to embark on seeking approval to start trials is really positive news for the patients and their parents and carers involved in one research, who are generally very enthusiastic about the programme.”
A similar treatment using ovarian tissue is already being used in women who have cancer treatment before they reach puberty and then want children later in life.
If trials are successful, the first UK patients could receive treatment within the next two to three years.