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Dr. Woodruff: Advances in Ovarian Follicle Development


The morning session, advances in bench research, began with a stimulating and thorough review on ovarian follicle development in vitro by Dr. Woodruff. Attendees learned that human follicle culture in vivo using a two-step, growth-stage-dependent maturation process is associated with greater success. New data on medical mitigation strategies, such as the use of gleevec during exposure to gonadotoxic agents, demonstrates promise for protecting the ovary from the off-target effects of chemotherapy and even radiation, without obligate surgical intervention. Lastly, attendees learned how bioactive scaffolds, the next generation of biomaterials and tissue scaffolds, have been used to recreate a customized, primordial germ cell niche. Bioactive niches are being used to study how ovarian structure (e.g. cytoskeleton) informs ovarian biology and may provide a safer option for follicle development or storage in cancer survivors.

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