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First baby is born after oocytes were matured in the lab and frozen

of about 30, who were infertile, had polycystic ovaries and had agreed to have their eggs frozen as part of their in vitro maturation (IVM) treatment. A total of 296 oocytes were collected from the patients, of which 290 were immature. The oocytes were matured in the laboratory for 24-48 hours and then 215 were frozen using the Cryoleaf oocyte vitrification kit developed at McGill. They remained frozen for no longer than a few months, and then were thawed. From these, 148 oocytes survived the thawing process and were fertilised via ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection); 64 embryos were transferred to the women. More than one embryo was transferred to each patient because IVM is known to have lower rates of implantation. The resulting pregnancies were singleton pregnancies, with the exception of one, which started as twins but became a singleton pregnancy due to spontaneous reduction.

Dr Holzer said he believed that adjusting the media in which the immature oocytes were matured in the laboratory was probably responsible for the improved success rate as the trial progressed.

Fertility preservation is of the utmost importance to patients undergoing treatments that have the potential of making them infertile. Our research shows that it is possible to collect immature oocytes from unstimulated ovaries, mature them in vitro, freeze and thaw them and then achieve pregnancies and live births, without the risk of aggravating the patients hormone-sensitive disease, delaying their treatment for cancer or re-instituting a metastatic malignant disease, he concluded.


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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
2-Jul-2007


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