Egg Freezing

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.

In the future it is the hope of ACRM that this project will benefit many young women with cancer. Many of those women now receive radiation or chemotherapy that destroys their eggs and ends their fertility with no effective way to save some healthy eggs before treatment begins. We hope the findings of this project will offer these women just that chance.