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Orwig's team reported a key advance Thursday: First, they froze a bit of testicular tissue from a monkey that hadn't yet reached puberty.Orwig's goal: Keep sperm-producing stem cells safe from cancer treatment by freezing small pieces of testicular tissue, and using them to restore fertility later in life.Orwig's team froze tissue from young male monkeys, and then sterilized them. Once the monkeys approached puberty, the researchers thawed those tissue samples and gave them back to the original animal -- implanting them just under the skin.Researchers have removed and frozen strips of ovarian tissue harboring egg follicles from young women before cancer treatment, in hopes that when transplanted back later the immature eggs would resume development.Surgery involving the boys' testicular tissue is less invasive, noted Orwig, who also is researching ways to reinsert sperm-producing stem cells where they belong rather than the more roundabout technique.
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