Folliculogenesis describes the process of activating an oocyte-containing primordial follicle from the ovarian reserve and its development to the mature ovulatory stage. This process is highly complex and is controlled by extra- and intra-ovarian signaling events. Oocyte competence and capacity for fertilization to support a viable pregnancy are acquired during folliculogenesis. Cancer and cancer-based therapies can negatively affect this process, compromising fertility. Currently, preservation of fertility in these patients remains limited to surrogacy, oocyte freezing, oocyte donation, or in vitro maturation (IVM). Recent reports of stem cells being used to produce fully competent oocytes and subsequently healthy offspring in mice have opened up a novel avenue for fertility preservation. However, translating these findings into human health first relies on enhancing our understanding of follicle growth and mimicking its intricacies in vitro. Indeed, the future of oocytes from stem cells in humans comes with many possibilities but currently faces several technical and ethical obstacles.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Best Practice & Research: Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2019|
- Stem cells