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First human uterus transplantation not far away

21.03.2007 - (idw) Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

On 1 April all major research groups in the field of uterus transplantation are to convene in Göteborg, Sweden. At this first international symposium they will present their most recent research findings and discuss an agenda for what needs to be done in research before uterine transplantation can be practiced in humans. The field of uterus transplantation has developed greatly during recent years.

A group of American researchers now consider themselves ready to perform the first human transplant. Seven years ago such an attempt was unsuccessful.

"The opinion of most researchers in the field is that the attempt in the year 2000 was made far too prematurely, since it was not backed up by enough research. Since then a large number of studies have been performed to examine the surgical technique, pregnancy outcome, offspring development, rejection pattern and immunosuppression against rejection in uterus transplantation", says Mats Brännström, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Women with uterus factor infertility are those who are born without a uterus, those who have undergone hysterectomy because of cancer or fibroids and those who have severe adhesions inside the organ after infection or surgical abortion.

"It is estimated that about 3 % of infertile couples are infertile due to this cause. Uterus transplantation may become a future treatment for uterus factor infertility, which is considered to be the last big hurdle in the attempts to treat most types of infertility", says Mats Brännström.

The First International Symposium on Uterine Transplantation takes place in Göteborg, Sweden on 1 April.

At the meeting new data will be presented showing pregnancies in transplanted uteri of large animals, results of uterine transplantation attempts in primate species, results of harvesting uterus and blood vessels from human multiorgan donors, findings on rejection mechanisms of transplanted uterus and immunosuppression to control these.

The ethical considerations in research and future clinical application will also be addressed.

The one-day symposium is arranged by the Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University and is held at Academicum, Medicinaregatan 3, Göteborg, Sweden. Researchers, potential future patients and interested laymen have been invited to attend the meeting.

For more information contact: Professor Mats Brännström, telephone: +46 31 342 22 27, +46 736 25 44 55, e-mail: mats.brannstrom@obgyn.gu.se

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