Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-07-21 18:53 Manipal: In a first of its kind programme in the country, the Centre for Fertility Preservation, Kasturba Medical College, successfully cryopreserved testicular stem cells from two boys diagnosed with lymphoma. “Oncofertility (fertility preservation) research in India is still in its infancy and we are glad that Fertility Preservation Centre has taken a challenging task to help cancer affected boys,” said Dr Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor of Manipal University. The Centre will maintain the immature germ cells until the patients attain adulthood and ready to start their own family. The Centre is also researching on the derivation of mature sperm cells from pre-pubertal tissue. Gonadal damage leading to infertility is a relatively common consequence of the treatments used to cure childhood cancer as the testes have a low threshold for damage induced by commonly used anticancer drugs and radiation. “Germ cells are retrieved from one of the testicles by a simple biopsy before the commencement of the cancer therapy. This is relatively a simple surgical procedure and does not affect the future sexual function of the children," said Dr Vijaykumar, a paediatric surgeon who performed the surgical removal of germ cells from the testis. “This is a significant step forward towards providing fertility care by our team” said Dr Poornima Baliga, Dean, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. “As India does not have such specialised facility, our Centre will soon serve as a national resource for cancer affected children so that testicular tissues collected from the other hospitals anywhere in the country can be transported to Manipal for banking purpose,” said Dr Satish Kumar Adiga, who is heading the programme here in Manipal.