A scientist at the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH) in Mumbai — an institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) — says a new type of stem cell identified by her team can help restore fertility in men and women who have undergone treatment for cancer.
Cancer treatment, or “oncotherapy”, that involves use of radiation and chemicals, renders patients infertile as an unwanted side effect and, while cured of cancer, they cannot beget children.
Though women are born with a lifetime reserve of “oocytes” ( immature eggs), these are wiped out by oncotherapy. In males, the testes responsible for the production of sperms, stop making them following cancer treatment.
Currently accepted approaches for fertility preservation require male patients to deposit their sperm in “cryo-banks” before beginning cancer treatment for later use. Similarly women, wanting to have children, must have their eggs or embryos “cryopreserved” for use after oncotherapy.
“Such approaches are invasive, expensive, technically challenging and depend on assisted reproductive technologies,” reports NIRRH cell biologist Deepa Bhartiya in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the flagship journal of ICMR.
According to the report, there is now a way out. Bhartiya says research by her team over the years led to identification of a novel population of “Very Small Embryonic-Like stem cells (VSELs)”, in testis (in males) and ovaries (in females).
Being “quiescent” by nature, these primitive stem cells (VSELs) survive cancer therapy and therefore can offer young cancer survivors options to have children without having to bank their sperms or embryos prior to oncotherapy, says the report.
“The VSELs have remained elusive over decades due to their small size and presence in very few numbers,” says Bhartiya.
The discovery of these unique VSELs (in testes and ovaries) that do not succumb to oncotherapy “opens up an alternative strategy to regenerate non-functional gonads and ovaries in cancer survivors”, says Bhartiya.
While VSELs survive cancer treatment, their original “habitat” (or niche) however gets destroyed by oncotherapy. To make the VSELs functional, their “niche” should be re-created by transplanting “mesenchymal cells” — another type of stem cells taken from the bone marrow — into the testes, says the report.
A simple and direct transplantation of “mesenchymal cells in the non-functional gonads may suffice to regenerate them,” says Bhartiya. “Similarly, transplantation of “ovarian surface epithelial cells” may allow the VSELs to regenerate nonfunctional ovaries.”
“This approach to fertility restoration is safe,” says Bhartiya pointing out to earlier studies carried out in her laboratory in mice which had shown that this method restored the role of non-functional ovaries and resulted in the birth of fertile offsprings.
“Our group also successfully restored spermatogenesis (sperm production) in non-functional mouse testis by transplanting niche (mesenchymal) cells, into the testis,” Bhartiya said.
In the light of these findings, she says the field of oncofertility may undergo a sea-change and existing strategies of cryopreservation of gametes and gonadal tissue for fertility preservation in cancer patients will have to be revised. “Pilot clinical studies (in humans) need to be undertaken.”
“VSELs may be an alternative cell source for induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) clls,” Balu Manohar, managing director of Stempeutics Research, a Bengaluru-based stem cell company told this correspondent. “But it is still far away from the clinic as isolation and large scale expansion of these cells has to be standardised.”
Dubai suspends Air India Express operations after carried COVID-19 positive passenger.
Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has suspended Air India Express operations to the Dubai airport after the airline allegedly carried a passenger who had tested positive for COVID-19.
The suspension kicks in from September 18 and will be valid till October 2.
The suspension notice says that the airline had carried the passenger on September 4, on flight IX1135, from Jaipur to Dubai. The passenger, whose identity is not revealing, had reportedly had a positive test result, issued on September 2 at a diagnostic center in Jaipur.
Going by the notice, this was the second time that the Dubai authority had detected the airline carrying a passenger who had the infection.
“You are aware of the previous intimation made to you by our letter dated September 2, for boarding a passenger with a COVID-19 positive result, who endangered the other passengers on board and also caused a serious health risk,” the letter to the regional manager of Air India Express said.
It added that boarding a passenger with the infection, for the second time, “is contrary to and is in violation of the laid down procedure…in the Emirate of Dubai, during the corona virus SARS Cov. 2 pandemic.”
In addition to the suspension, the airline has been asked to pay for all the expenditure incurred by authorities for medical services, including quarantine, for passengers.
To resume services, the Air India subsidiary has been asked to submit a “detailed corrective action/procedure implemented to prevent such incidents…” the letter said.
Dubai is among the busiest destinations for passengers from India. As per the air travel bubble that the Indian government had arranged with a few countries, airlines from both the sides could operate scheduled flights.
This is a second such instance of Air India or its subsidiary being suspended for carrying passengers infected with the virus. On August 18, Hong Kong had banned the national airline from operating till August 31.
Separately, Malaysia had barred Indians from entering the country starting September 7, in a bid to curtail imported COVID-19 cases amid a spate of new clusters in the country.
Google Play store removes Paytm app citing gambling policy
Sensex sheds gains in last hour sell-off, finance stocks fall
Sanjay Dutt reunites with kids in Dubai after months
Kangana ‘will quit twitter’ if anyone can prove she starts fights
SSR Case: CBI’s Special Investigation Team Apprises Top Officials Of Developments
Amid US pressure to sell video app,TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigns.
Finance Minister hints at GST cut on two-wheeler.
Healthy Lifestyle : Lots of tips on how to stop drinking alcohol
One disease that seems to be emerging because of irregular lifestyle is breast cancer
Permission of Muharram procession across country denies:Supreme Court.
In a Live debate AAP leader Syed Asad Abbas hurls abuses to BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
‘India’s Most Wanted’ trailer out Arjun Kapoor on hunt of Osama-Bin-Laden
Time to move on: Sonakshi on Shatrughan’s joining Congress
Kangana’s sister Rangoli cheers for Deepika’s ‘CHHAPAAK’
Chitrangda Singh & Sana Khan BOLD Avatar .See video
National2 days ago
$15,000 reward announces FBI,To given information on the murder of Indian national in 2012.
National2 days ago
Center tells Supreme Court in plea against Sudarshan TV case,Regulate digital media first before TV or Electronic media.
Entertainment2 days ago
Kajol shares secret to her beautiful hair
National2 days ago
From Vladimir Putin to Boris Johnson: Wishes pour in from world leaders on PM Modi’s 70th birthday
Business24 hours ago
Lok Sabha passes controversial farm sector bills;Harsimrat Badal resign from Modi Cabinet.
Business23 hours ago
Freedom To Set Their Own Fares to Private Railways: Government
National2 days ago
PM of India Modi turns 70,Wishes pour in from all across world.
Top News2 days ago
Sushant case: Forensic re-examination hints at discrepancies