Monday, 18 February 2008

Transplant of uterus in goats, sheep: Good news for infertile women

February 18, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Feb 17: American gynecologist with a special interest in fertility
preservation have successfully transplanted wombs in goats and sheep, paving the way
for similar transplants in human beings.
Since the year 2000, they have been investigating the feasibility of uterine
transplants in different sub-primates models perfecting an effective surgical
technique. While facing the different challenges in transplant surgery, the
pioneering physicians opt to choose an animal model (sheep and goat) that resembles
the female human reproductive anatomy. Their rare achievement means that infertile
women can bear their own children, without going in for adoption or surrogacy.
The goat/sheep project was presented at the three-day 18th annual scientific meeting
on Recent Trends in Reproductive Health Research that was organized by Dr. Roya
Rozati affiliated with the Owaisi Hospital in Hyderabad, India. During their
presentation, it was announced that this was the first time that the experts have
successfully transplanted wombs in the goat and sheep models.
The uterine transplant project is led by Dr. Edwin R. Ramirez from Lancaster,
California, along with his father, Dr. Hugo A. Ramirez, sister and brother-in-law
Drs. Doris and Matthew Nessetti. Most of their experiments have been conducted at
the Universidad de La Salla in Bogota, Colombia, however the launch of their project
was initiated at Texas Tech University Health Science Center with the collaboration
of Dr. Vincent Pillari from New York Methodist Hospital. The clinical researchers
took up the pioneering project to assess tissue rejection and endometrial changes in
subjects undergoing uterus transplantation, besides determining a success rate of
pregnancy after the transplant.
The objective of their study was to prove that four goats and 10 sheep could
successfully undergo the uterine transplant procedure with the achievement of
pregnancy. "Our goal is to provide an effective and safe procedure that may be
suitable for human application," Dr Ramirez told this correspondent.
Dr. Edwin Ramirez announced last year at the American Society of Reproductive
Medicine (ASRM) annual meeting that a successful pregnancy has been achieved in the
goat model after undergoing the uterine transplant procedure. He also mentioned that
the next phase of their sheep project will be to synchronize the animals with
progesterone implants for the preparation of an embryo transfer, with the
collaboration of Professor Mats Brannstrom from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in
Goteborg, Sweden. "600,000 hysterectomies in the United States are being performed
annually and the incidence of an absent uterus (Rokitansky syndrome) is
approximately 4-5 per cent of the general populations (1:4000), so there is a definite need for the procedure!" Dr Ramirez said.
"The decisions made in reproductive medicine have strongly been influenced by social
demographics and religious beliefs. The medical society has offered gestational
surrogacy and adoption as a therapeutic remedy for uterine factor infertility
however it is prudent that we understand a patients culture and religious beliefs
before introducing a third party into the demand of procreation," they said.
The team has demonstrated that the ewe and goat are excellent models for uterine
transplant research. However, the next step before attempting a human uterine
transplant will be to justify an effective procedure in the non-human primate. Dr.
Ramirez in conjunction with Dr. Masood Khatammee, an eminent expert in the field of
fertility, will be hosting the 1st International meeting on Fertility Preservation
and Prevention of Infertility which will be held at New York University in
Manhattan, NY during of the month of October 2008.


Viviana said...

Congrantulations!!! This is an excellent work!!! This year you will have your delivery healthy offsprings from the sheeps. I Will help in all i can.

Viviana Zuluaga

Jamie's Girl said...

Congratulations! I cannot wait to hear the results and see the progress continually towards "The Dream"!

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