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Medicine Australia

World-First: Woman Becomes Pregnant After Ovarian Tissue Graft 87

Posted by samzenpus
from the cabbage-patch dept.
brindafella writes "When an Australian woman, Vali, was diagnosed with cancer, and treated, she was not looking at a good outcome. Yet, TWO cancer treatments later, she is pregnant with twin girls. Her ovaries were sectioned and frozen before the cancer treatment. She has had her own flesh implanted outside her pelvis. Eggs were gathered, IVF techniques used later with her male partner, and her uterus is now carrying two viable girls due to be born in about 3 months. Melbourne IVF's Associate Professor Kate Stern has explained the process today."
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World-First: Woman Becomes Pregnant After Ovarian Tissue Graft

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  • Good and bad. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:45PM (#44740821)

    It is good that science saved her and empowered her to have children. There is no denying that this is a win.

    It *also* means that whatever genetic predispositions to cancer she may have had were likely passed on to her children, who are now more likely than others to get cancer and need the same treatment.

    This does not make the science bad, nor its use bad. But it clearly is bad. Future generations will be looking at dating pools full of people with genetic predispositions for all kinds of expensive and life-threatening diseases. We are actively creating this future, which is unfortunate. However, any means of getting in front of this problem and ensuring the genetic health of future generations is either ruthlessly incompassionate or frighteningly mad-scientisty (or both).

     

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lnunes (1897628)

      There is a Star Trek: TNG episode where LaForge gets stranded in a planet with a romulan, which says to him that should he have been born a romulan he would never be allowed to develop/grow up, due to having his genetic defect in his eyes.

      The logic behind was very similar to yours. I found it cruel when I watched it, and I still do, but it's hard to deny the benefits to society.

      • Well here is the thing.
        It would of happened in nature anyway, if he was born as any other animal he would of died young. If humans were still living as we were when we first came onto the planet, he would of.

        • Re:Good and bad. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday September 02, 2013 @05:25PM (#44741073)

          Well here is the thing. It would of happened in nature anyway, if he was born as any other animal he would of died young. If humans were still living as we were when we first came onto the planet, he would of.

          "Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above."

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Nature has also provided us biological tools that enable us to resolve these problems for ourselves. To suggest we should not because it's "not how nature works" is to deny our natural abilities.

          • Re:Good and bad. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Truekaiser (724672) on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:16PM (#44741733)

            Acknowledging a fact, and advocating for it are two different things. I hope one day you realize the difference.

            I Acknowledge that from 100,000 years ago to roughly 10,000 years ago being born blind or with any such handicap was a death sentence. If not by nature then by fellow tribesmen who can't afford to take on an extra burden of someone who can't do anything.
            I Acknowledge that from about 10,000 years ago to only 200 or so years ago, being born with a handicap entitled you to a short life at worst. At best depending on your class, creed, and culture you might live a semi productive life.

            We have the tools now to overcome our limitations, but those won't last long. How long is up to debate.
            So I Acknowledge the fact that without those tools we will be back to viewing those things as burdens.
            Yet with them a handicapped person, baring prevention by class and creed, can live a full productive life.

            Do I advocate for those things to happen? No, I do admit that these facts exist.
            I admit that while wrong to anthromorphize nature by saying nature doesn't care, but it is the best way to describe it.

            • You aren't anthropomorphanizing nature in that. Nature doesn't have feelings so it litterally doesn't care. Other then that, i agree

            • by RockDoctor (15477)

              I Acknowledge that from 100,000 years ago to roughly 100 years from now being born [DELETE: blind or with any such handicap] has been a death sentence.

              FTFY

              Life can be accurately described as a sexually transmitted disease with 100% mortality. It may not be a confidence-inspiring description, but it is accurate.
              The existence of IVF techniques is the first significant modification to matters, and that still depends on most of the apparatus of sex (reduction division of genomes to form gametes ; combinatio

      • Re:Good and bad. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday September 02, 2013 @05:31PM (#44741133) Journal

        I can't believe I'm defending ST:TNG, but the whole point of that episode is that LaForge, despite his birth defect, was still one of the most, if not the most competent non-android on The Enterprise. Sure, his visor allowed him to see, so technology bridged the gap (and then some, frankly I couldn't figure out why everyone in the Federation wasn't using them), but LaForge was a highly intelligent man. His blindness didn't make him less intelligent.

        My great-grandmother was totally blind from about the age of nine. She lived to be in her early 90s, lead a pretty amazing life, not to mention being one of my sires (which I'm very grateful for). She didn't super-duper technobabble glasses, but she had ropes strung around her yard to guide her along along with other ingenious aids that allowed her to function, and lived on her own for six or seven years after her second husband died until about six months before she died. She cooked, she cleaned and raised two children. She was also an incredible musician who could play just about any damned instrument; violin, concertina, guitar, piano, recorder. I feel very lucky that I got to know her.

        The one thing I learned from all of this is that you cannot tell what a person, even with some fairly substantial disability will be capable of. I don't want to live in the kind of society that would have viewed that woman as a burden.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          My great-grandmother was totally blind from about the age of nine. She lived to be in her early 90s, lead a pretty amazing life, not to mention being one of my sires (which I'm very grateful for).

          Technology is really out of control if your great-grandmother sired you. Even if she was your dam, that's still pretty wrong. Sire is your direct father. Dam is your mother. Damsire is your mother's father. Your great-grandmother shouldn't be any of these. You only have one sire.

        • Would you still be grateful if you went blind when you were 9 too?
          • Some people look at a pile of lemons and decide to make lemonade. Would you be gratefull if you could live from age nine until eighty something with a disability or would you prefere death?

        • by rpstrong (1659205)

          Sure, his visor allowed him to see, so technology bridged the gap (and then some, frankly I couldn't figure out why everyone in the Federation wasn't using them),...

          I was only an irregular viewer, but I was under the impression that using the visor caused severe headaches - and that he would take it off when he could.

        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          I can't believe I'm defending ST:TNG,

          Neither can I, and I have only sat through a few episodes when that's what other people have been watching in the smoking room.

          but the whole point of that episode is that LaForge, despite his birth defect, [yadda, yadda] but LaForge was a highly intelligent man. His blindness didn't make him less intelligent.

          I thought that the point of that episode, of which I only saw a few minutes of before going into my book then finishing my fag and going back to work, was that LaFo

    • by Anonymous Coward

      God forbid that our science and technology help people achieve something that is denied to them because of a genetic problem. Maybe we've already arrived at your 'future generations' problem.

      Perhaps we should do away with hospitals and let the survival of the fittest rule once again?

      • The thing is that we have evidence that even Neandertals looked after their sick. Sure there were some societies like the Spartans who used eugenics of some kind to strengthen the master race, but even in the Classical world they were viewed with a measure of fear and loathing (and ultimately it didn't help them when the Romans came rolling into town).

        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          Sure there were some societies like the Spartans who used eugenics of some kind to strengthen the master race,

          ... and they suffered the population problems that went with it. The Spartans proper were outnumbered around 100 to 1 by their slave workforce, the helots [wikipedia.org]. Towards the end of the Hellenistic period the ratio may have been worse.

          (and ultimately it didn't help them when the Romans came rolling into town).

          It was Phillip of Macedon (father of Alexander, called "the Great") who came rolling in and effect

      • by Prune (557140)
        You can have your pie and eat it too: genetic screening of embryos.
    • by mpeskett (1221084)
      Look at the right period in history, and myopia would have been a serious impairment. Guess we'd have been better of not inventing glasses, and not allowing the short-sighted to breed.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Except that myopia is easily corrected through learning how to use your eyes. Glasses were originally meant as a tool, not the modern crutch that leads to a billion dollar business.
        • I'm quite myopic due to astigmatism (I have misshapen eyeballs, which also have me at a much higher risk of detached retinas). There is no using my eyes another way. Before the invention of corrective lenses, I would have been functionally blind beyond perhaps 36 to 48 inches. There's no fix, no magic eyeball situps. I have no idea what you've read, but it ain't reality.

          • by Jmc23 (2353706)
            I've been reading scientific studies, some as far back as a century ago. You have probably only been listening to doctors or opthamologists with outdated knowledge and a vested interest in keeping you coming back for more. Those are the doctors that said I would be blind by the time I reached my 30's. Almost 40 now.

            Have you ever disected eyeballs? They don't really hold their shape. Shape is determined by the cavity, muscles, and production and drainage of fluid.

            Astigmatism is a little harder to cor

          • Is it possible that the problem with your eyes was inherited from your great grandmother, i'm guessing the whys of why she was blind from age 9 would have not been asked much once it was established that she would have to live with it. So it's unlikely to know if the 2 issues are related or coincidental .

            My parents both need glasses but both me and my brother have better than 20/20 vision although my sister has needed glasses most of her life. Which kind of demonstrates the foolishness of the idea of termin

    • by godel_56 (1287256)

      It is good that science saved her and empowered her to have children. There is no denying that this is a win.

      It *also* means that whatever genetic predispositions to cancer she may have had were likely passed on to her children, who are now more likely than others to get cancer and need the same treatment.

      Who said she must have had genetic dispositions to cancer? Sometime shit just happens. Outside of a Larry Niven novel I don't believe in a "lucky" gene, but people win the lottery every week.

      This does not make the science bad, nor its use bad. But it clearly is bad. Future generations will be looking at dating pools full of people with genetic predispositions for all kinds of expensive and life-threatening diseases. We are actively creating this future, which is unfortunate. However, any means of getting in front of this problem and ensuring the genetic health of future generations is either ruthlessly in-compassionate or frighteningly mad-scientisty (or both).

      Nah, it's just expensive. I don't regard a ball of maybe 32 cells and no nervous system, is fully qualified as a human being, entitled to my consideration. BTW, what's the percentage of early term pregnancies that spontaneously miscarriage anyway?

      Wikipedia says: "The National Institutes of Health report that "around ha

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        Outside of a Larry Niven novel I don't believe in a "lucky" gene, but different people win the lottery every week.

        FTFY

        It is an important point in the novels. But also ... look at what ultimately happened to her.

        But if you're worried about the growing unfitness of the human race, I'm expecting a massive cull happening during the environmental collapse that's coming in the later part of this century will sort things out.

        Doesn't worry me ; I've not put any cards in that deck. Deliberately.

    • by Zordak (123132)

      It *also* means that whatever genetic predispositions to cancer she may have had were likely passed on to her children, who are now more likely than others to get cancer and need the same treatment. This does not make the science bad, nor its use bad. But it clearly is bad.

      Unless one of the twins comes up with the cure for cancer. Or solves the Grand Unified Field Theory. Or spends her life traveling the world feeding starving orphans. Perhaps you and I have different definitions of "clearly."

    • by Prune (557140)
      I agree with you. This sort of treatment should be given only conditional to mandatory submission to genetic screening of embryos.
    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      Many people are reproducing without IVF intervention who would not have survived to do so in earlier times, either because they were born prematurely, would have died of a childhood illness or any number of other factors. Many cancers that appear are a result of surviving long enough for them to exhibit, where previously you would have died of something else before the cancer popped up it's ugly head.

      The majority of cancer sufferers are diagnosed will after they hit puberty, meaning they can reproduce and p

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Unless you are a Tasmanian Devil and go around biting others on the face you don't have to worry about cancer being contagious. Also there are only a few cancers that have been identified as being more likely to affect some people and not others, this is not one of them, so your comment about passing on a predispositions to cancer does not appear to have any foundation in this situation. Also go back far enough or wide enough and everyone has a family history of cancer - there are plenty of different type
      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        Unless you are a Tasmanian Devil and go around biting others on the face you don't have to worry about cancer being contagious.

        HPV? (Human PapillomaVirus)

        (And there are probably others, if less clearly associated with cancers.)

  • She has had her own flesh implanted outside her pelvis.

    So, she is now like a kangaroo, with a pouch?

    What's next? Cloning drop bears?!?!?

    • What's next? Cloning drop bears?!?!?

      Is that some kind of man-in-the-middle attack on SSH?

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        No, it is not. [lmgtfy.com]

        If you're resistant to clicking the link, it's a funny nickname for koalas, implying that they are (as a joke, because they are not) vicious horror-movie terrors that ambush unsuspecting tourists by dropping on to them from the canopy.

  • This is a pretty interesting development, but I'll be a lot more impressed when I read the headline: "World-First: Man Becomes Pregnant After Ovarian Tissue Graft"

  • In the U.S. if we can deny using federal funds for abortion, we should also have the right to demand they not be used for fertility treatments.

  • by jonr (1130) on Monday September 02, 2013 @06:01PM (#44741325) Homepage Journal

    I thought she had become pregnant by accident, that hers or the donators eggs had somehow be fertilized....

  • This does sound like a monster movie in the making. External ovaries seem over the edge to me. The only reason i think it needs to be permitted is that usually such procedures lead to easier and saner solutions.
    The second reality is that there is nothing more vile or evil than having a baby. We have a population bomb that is now exploding. We need to be active in preventing child births and applying penalties to those who reproduce with

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      pure nonsense, you have bought into the agenda of the mankind-haters. The truth is prosperity lowers the birth rate, the birth rate for those of european descent in the USA is below the rate needed to sustain a growing population. The 2nd derivative of the population growth curve shows the world population will peak in the 2070s around 8.5 billion people then decline. There is thus no problem with babies being born, and even the resource scarcity arguments assume that metals and whatnot disappear from th

  • We as a society should not pay for heroic efforts to restore fertility. There are a lot of kids suffering out there with no or with shitty evil parents.

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