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Japanese hospital to consider womb transplants

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A Japanese hospital has set up a project team to consider womb transplants for women born without a uterus or whose uterus has been surgically removed for cancer or other conditions, the hospital told Kyodo News on Wednesday, reported Japan Today.

While successful uterus transplants have been carried out overseas, Japanese Red Cross Nagoya Daini Hospital is only the second hospital in Japan to take up the issue after Keio University Hospital was found earlier this year to be mulling whether to ask its ethics committee within the year for a clinical study.

Uterus transplants are outside the scope of other organ transplants from brain dead donors stipulated in Japan's organ transplant law. Unlike other transplant operations involving life-sustaining organs such as the heart, uterus transplants are solely for the purpose of conceiving and delivering a child.

Some challenges remain, including the impact on the donor from whom a healthy uterus is harvested, and the potentially negative consequences for the embryo or fetus of using immune suppressive agents to prevent the recipient's body from rejecting the new organ.

The Nagoya hospital is expected to study these ethical and safety issues.
In uterus transplant surgery, a womb is removed from a donor, who may be a patient's immediate family member, and transplanted to the patient. A fertilized egg created from the patient's egg and her partner's sperm through in vitro fertilization is then placed in the womb, according to Nobuhiko Suganuma, the chair of the Japan Society for Uterine Transplantation.

Read more at japantoday.com

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Location: Japán
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