Egg Freezing Research
ACRM received a substantial research grant from Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman Foundation for Medical Research to aid in egg freezing clinical studies.
The study conducted under this grant was completed in 2005.
Egg Freezing for Fertility Preservation
Egg freezing is used for long-term storage of unfertilized eggs for the purpose of fertility preservation. Patients may wish to have their eggs frozen before they undergo cancer therapy so that healthy eggs are available in the event that their therapy may adversely affect future fertility. It has also been suggested that singles who wish to intend to delay childbearing until later in life may wish to freeze their eggs for future use.
The research effort was focused on understanding the properties of human eggs that affect survival with freezing. Dr. John Critser, an expert on mammalian egg cryobiology, joined ACRM's research team on this project. While other centers have done some preliminary work on egg freezing, it has not before been possible to do it in a systematic way that permits discovery of a more optimal approach. ACRM's research team was able to better define optimal parameters for human egg freezing, and continues to look into extending this new knowledge into a practical way to offer egg freezing to women in need of this service.
Cryopreservation Research to Preserve Oocytes
Phase I of this study investigated the effects of osmotic stress of cryopreservation conditions on the integrity of the spindle structure in the oocyte that holds and organizes the chromosomes.
In Phase II of the experiment, two methods of oocyte freezing were compared in their effectiveness to preserve oocytes and achieve pregnancy.
For those women with cancer, prior to successful egg freezing many of these women received radiation or chemotherapy that destroyed their eggs and ended their fertility with no effective way to save some healthy eggs before cancer treatment would begin. Our egg freezing program offers this option for fertility preservation for women who will be undergoing cancer treatment. As well, there are women who have chosen to delay family building, and due to the strides made in our egg freezing program, they too now have the hope of family building when the time is right for them.