Fertility prospects for women with cancer – The first ovarian tissue bank in Greece is established in MITERA

A very promising, laparoscopic, method for the transplantation of ovarian tissue is offered in MITERA giving fertility prospect to women treated for cancer. In addition, MITERA established the first ovarian tissue bank in Greece for young cancer patients. The bank’s establishment was officially announced at the 11th Pan-Hellenic Conference on Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Head of the Bank is Dr. Ioannis Zervomanolakis, former Assistant Director of the Assisted Reproduction Clinic at the Innsbruck Medical University in Austria. Dr. Zervomanolakis was in charge of the Austrian ovarian tissue bank and, in 2009, he performed the first ovarian tissue retransplantation in Austria, which is one of the first operations of this kind in the world.

“Although chemotherapy and radiation are absolutely necessary for cancer treatment, they unfortunately damage not only cancer cells but also healthy human cells, such as ovarian cells”, Dr. Zervomanolakis said. “Laparoscopic retrieval and cryopreservation of ovarian tissue aiming in their retransplantation after treatment completion, is a cutting-edge method of fertility preservation for young women with cancer, with the exception for certain types of ovarian cancer. As a result, this method has led to the birth of seven healthy babies in the last four years worldwide”.

The ovarian tissue bank is hosted in the MITERA Assisted Reproduction Unit and is supported by its embryologist Dr. Giles Palmer. This effort focuses on all young women with cancer that demand a serious, responsible and reliable approach to their desire to have children. The bank’s goal is to deal with “Fertility after cancer” issues in a responsible and timely manner, so that women will have serious prospects of having children in the future through the preservation of their fertility.