What is Ovarian Rejuvenation? Understanding CHR’s New Study
Understanding Ovarian Rejuvenation treatments and how they can help women of advanced maternal age achieve pregnancy.Want to Consult Dr. Gleicher?
Ovarian rejuvenation has been a very popular topic on the web, which we have previously addressed in our monthly newsletter. We want to return to this theme because CHR is in the final stages of initiating a clinical trial on ovarian rejuvenation.
Now, what is ovarian rejuvenation?
That’s actually a complicated question to answer because so many different things have been presented in various ways, unfortunately not very frequently in the medical literature, but on the web, ovarian the rejuvenation has been used as an umbrella term to describe various interventions into ovarian function. Frankly speaking, within the medical literature, there is not a single paper that has so far been able to demonstrate any outcome advantages from any of these methods.
There’s one method that was for the first time reported approximately two years ago involving Japanese and California investigators where ovarian biopsies were taken in a surgical procedure. Those biopsies were treated with certain biological substances which are known to activate follicle recruitment and after the stitcher was treated in that fashion, the tissue in a second surgical procedure was reinserted into the patient and there are by now I believe two live births reported in women who supposedly were suffering from premature ovarian menopause or premature ovarian failure. This is falling under the umbrella of ovarian rejuvenation, but in our opinion, this is a much too invasive procedure to be applied on a large scale. Experimentally, it’s very interesting because it confirms certain things we have learned over the last few years about how follicles have been recruited, but this is not the procedure that can be offered on a large scale to patients. It is simply too invasive and too costly.
All other procedures that have been propagated on the web have not yet yielded results that were publishable because otherwise they would have been published.
So why is it then that CHR decided to start to study in this area?
The reason is simple. And there is something that is called “platelet-enriched human plasma.” It is a very simple process where basically through simple spinning, a certain plasma area in human blood can be isolated and in that very limited area, in a spinning process, there’s a concentration of cells that clearly seem to have immunological functions when reintroduced into a patient’s body.
How do we know that?
We know that from other medical specialties. This was started by orthopedic colleagues, mostly in athletes, but has in the meanwhile been demonstrated to be effective treatment (with multiple publications in reputable medical journals) in various orthopedic conditions, in skin conditions, in certain auto-immune conditions. In other words, we already know two very important things: We know one that isolation of that cell fraction of plasma is very simple. Two, we know that it is what’s called autologous, which means it comes from the patient itself therefore there is no rejection taking place when this is injected back into the patient’s wherever in in the body. And thirdly, we know from other areas of medicine that these kinds of injections generate some kind of a healing process or accelerate healing processes.
Why is this relevant to us?
It is relevant because we know that the same kind of substances and cell populations are also active potentially in the follicle recruitment processes. And even menopausal women still do have follicles. The problem with with those women is not that they have no longer any follicles, the problem is that those follicles can no longer be recruited and therefore can no longer start developing and the idea here is that maybe if we inject this fraction of plasma into postmenopausal ovaries, we can get those few follicles that still are there into the recruitment process and therefore make them available for another one or two cycles.
That is the hope. Whether it will work, we will know after the trial is completed. In the meanwhile, we hope within two to three months to be through our institutional review board, get the approval and get going, so if you have extremely low ovarian reserve or are even diagnosed with premature menopause, early menopause, or as it’s sometimes called primary ovarian insufficiency, and you want to participate in this kind of a study, Please come and join us.