Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Something you may not know about the treatment of leukemia

I just learned this from Shelley the other day, since Cameron has been undergoing chemo and will continue treatment (at least for a few more months) it could render him sterile for the rest of his life.

The good new is, if done early enough, doctors can take stem cells to help produce active sperm for Cameron later in life when he wants to have children. Here is some more in depth information and a link to the whole site at the top right hand side of this blog.


Testicular Tissue Freezing for Pre-Pubescent Boys
Sperm banking is not an option for prepubertal boys who are not yet producing sperm. However, these boys do have stem cells in their testes that are poised to begin producing sperm at puber...ty. Currently there are some experimental studies underway to preserve testicular tissue obtained by biopsy and freeze it for future use. The tissue contains stem cells which will be able to start spermatogenesis (sperm production). Testicular tissue freezing is considered experimental and is generally only offered in a research setting with IRB oversight. Several studies are developing protocols that will enable scientists and physicians to use the frozen/thawed testicular tissue and stem cells to produce sperm in the laboratory or by re-implanting, years later, back into the individual. Research has proven these strategies are effective in animals and it is envisioned that they will also be effective in humans.

The Fertility Preservation Program of Pittsburgh is a multidisciplinary working group that includes key stake holders at Magee-Womens Research Institute, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. The Fertility Preservation Program of Pittsburgh has established a dedicated phone line (412-641-7475) that patients and their physicians can call to learn about the reproductive side effects of their treatments and options for preserving their fertility. This is a discussion that needs to happen before toxic therapies are initiated and fertility is irreversibly destroyed. There are no standard options to preserve the fertility of boys and girls who are not yet producing mature eggs or sperm. For these young patients, The Fertility Preservation Program of Pittsburgh is approved to freeze testicular or ovarian tissue that might be used in the future to restore fertility when experimental techniques emerge from the research pipeline. For more information on standard and experimental options for preserving fertility please visit http://www.mwrif.org/220 or call (412-641-7475).

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