Washington: Young women who have cancer treatment often lose their fertility because chemotherapy and radiation can damage or kill their immature ovarian eggs, called oocytes.Now, Northwestern Medicine scientists have found the molecular pathway that can prevent the death of immature ovarian eggs due to chemotherapy, potentially preserving fertility and endocrine function.Scientists achieved this in female mice by adding a currently approved chemotherapy drug, imatinib mesylate, to another chemotherapy drug cisplatin."This research advances the efforts to find a medical treatment to protect the fertility and hormone health of girls and young women during cancer treatment, " said So-Youn Kim, the lead investigator and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Teresa Woodruff, chief of fertility preservation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.Adding imatinib mesylate to the drug cisplatin blocks the action of a protein that triggers a cascade of events resulting in death of the immature eggs. Kim discovered the protein that triggers the oocyte`s ultimate death is Tap63.
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