Doctors plan first testicle transplant

SCIENTISTS ARE preparing to carry out the first testicle transplant on a boy undergoing cancer treatment who would otherwise have become infertile.If the operation is successful medical researchers believe it will open the way for thousands of infertile men to have such transplants as an alternative to fertility treatment.

SCIENTISTS ARE preparing to carry out the first testicle transplant on a boy undergoing cancer treatment who would otherwise have become infertile.If the operation is successful medical researchers believe it will open the way for thousands of infertile men to have such transplants as an alternative to fertility treatment.

The news follows the case of an American woman of 30 whose early menopause was reversed by a pioneering ovary transplant. The procedure was masterminded by Roger Gosden, professor of reproductive biology at Leeds University.

Peter Schlegel, a reproductive specialist at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Centre, said yesterday he expects to receive ethical approval for the testicle transplant before the end of the year. It will be performed on a boy whose testicles are removed and frozen prior to cancer treatment that can cause sterility. The testicles will be replaced once treatment has ended and the boy has reached puberty.

Dr Schlegel emphasised that there are still many technical and ethical difficulties associated with testicle transplants, which could also include transplants between brothers, but he is confident the procedure will become routine within the next decade. "There are problems associated with connecting the many small blood vessels and nerves, there is the problem of tissue rejection and there is the ethical difficulty of producing sperm from another man," Dr Schlegel said. "I am sure testicular transplants between men will be done in the next 10 years and there are a number of groups other than ours who are working on it."

Dr Schlegel said that existing treatments for male infertility are not suitable for all sterile men and there are many situations where testicle transplants, perhaps between two brothers or between a father and a son, could become the preferred option. Carrying out testicle transfers on boys undergoing cancer therapy would provide clear medical advantages that would make approval from his hospital's ethics committee more likely. "I have had dozens of requests from patients for this to be done"

If the technique is shown to work well on boys, it would provide the necessary impetus for testicle transplants to be performed on adult men with fertility problems, Dr Schlegel said. Experiments on animals have already shown that testicle transplants are possible and Dr Schlegel's team has demonstrated that testicle transfer within the same animal is a relatively straightforward surgical procedure.

Although it is possible to take immature sperm from a testicle and inject it directly into an unfertilised egg, this procedure cannot always be done with certain categories of male infertility. Dr Schlegel envisages that these men might prefer to accept a testicle transplant from a donor who is a close relative and so be able to father a child "naturally" rather than having their partner undergo artificial insemination.

However, just as ovary transplants provide the opportunity for a new lease of life to older women, some men might see testicle transplants as offering a way of boosting their sex hormone levels, invigorating their stamina and improving their sex lives.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

    £30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

    Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

    £23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

    Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

    Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

    £35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering