Going by a new Australian study published online in the journal Molecular Cell on Thursday, new ways for protecting female fertility may likely result from the discovery of a cell death mechanism; thereby bringing a new ray of hope for women who risk infertility after cancer treatment or early menopause.
The cell death mechanism was discovered by researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, along with their counterparts from Monash University and Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research, in Melbourne, when they were largely carrying out investigations into the reasons behind the death of egg cells.
With the researchers having found that egg cells get destroyed in the ovaries because of two proteins, PUMA and NOXA; it appears highly possible that the blocking of the mechanism of the proteins is a potential target for new treatments for preserving female fertility.
Describing the manner in which DNA in cells can be damaged due to radiation and chemotherapy, thus causing PUMA and NOXA to trigger cell death, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s associate professor Clare Scott said in a press statement that the results of the study hint at the potential chances for helping patients maintain fertility.
Scott said that the results of the study imply that “in the future, medications that block the function of PUMA could be used to stop the death of egg cells in patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy."
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