New studies question the treatment of female infertility with stem cells

November 03, 2015

It has been claimed that a treatment for female infertility will be available by stem cell therapy. But a new study by Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institutet published in Nature Medicine questions whether new egg cells can be produced using stem cells.

Researchers have long hoped that stem cells could generate new egg cells that can be used to treat infertility in women.

"Since 2004, there have been researchers who have claimed in their studies that they found egg stem cells in both mice and humans. A new treatment has even been launched by the US company OvaScience," says Professor Kui Liu at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg.

In a new study, Professor Kui Liu and his colleagues question whether stem cells can generate new egg cells. He led the study together with Professor Outi Hovatta of Karolinska Institutet and they assert that the procedure of isolating stem cells is aspecific and also that the stem cells have not been capable of forming eggs.

"Consequently, it is not realistic to hope for a new treatment of female infertility with stem cells. In recent years, investors have been fascinated by a possible new therapy with stem cells, but since our laboratory and other laboratories have proven that the reported stem cells are not real stem cells, we think such treatment is not reliable, says Kui Liu.

Professor Outi Hovatta, an expert on studies of stem cells, believes that the reported egg stem cells are not functional and capable of generating new eggs. This includes both stem in mice and human ovaries.

"This is a question of whether or not researchers should over-interpret their results and provide new hope of a new treatment to society and the patients before certain evidence is obtained. We believe that such 'hype' should cool down and we are warning the society of irresponsible promises to patients and investors," says Professor Liu.
-end-


University of Gothenburg

Related Stem Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

SUTD researchers create heart cells from stem cells using 3D printing
SUTD researchers 3D printed a micro-scaled physical device to demonstrate a new level of control in the directed differentiation of stem cells, enhancing the production of cardiomyocytes.

More selective elimination of leukemia stem cells and blood stem cells
Hematopoietic stem cells from a healthy donor can help patients suffering from acute leukemia.

Computer simulations visualize how DNA is recognized to convert cells into stem cells
Researchers of the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW - The Netherlands) and the Max Planck Institute in Münster (Germany) have revealed how an essential protein helps to activate genomic DNA during the conversion of regular adult human cells into stem cells.

First events in stem cells becoming specialized cells needed for organ development
Cell biologists at the University of Toronto shed light on the very first step stem cells go through to turn into the specialized cells that make up organs.

Surprising research result: All immature cells can develop into stem cells
New sensational study conducted at the University of Copenhagen disproves traditional knowledge of stem cell development.

The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs.

Healthy blood stem cells have as many DNA mutations as leukemic cells
Researchers from the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology have shown that the number of mutations in healthy and leukemic blood stem cells does not differ.

New method grows brain cells from stem cells quickly and efficiently
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a faster method to generate functional brain cells, called astrocytes, from embryonic stem cells.

NUS researchers confine mature cells to turn them into stem cells
Recent research led by Professor G.V. Shivashankar of the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy, has revealed that mature cells can be reprogrammed into re-deployable stem cells without direct genetic modification -- by confining them to a defined geometric space for an extended period of time.

Researchers develop a new method for turning skin cells into pluripotent stem cells
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have for the first time succeeded in converting human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells by activating the cell's own genes.

Read More: Stem Cells News and Stem Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.