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Experts at the University of Pittsburgh and the Magee-Womens Research Institute may have figured out a way to keep chemotherapy and radiotherapy from leaving some men permanently infertile. Using monkeys as test subjects, the scientists extracted and froze the stem cells that produce sperm, gave the primates a round of chemotherapy and later placed the stem cells back inside.

According to BBC, nine of the twelve adult monkeys were able to produce sperm again, and several of the newly produced sperm actually fertilized eggs. The incredible findings were published in this month’s Cell Stem Cell journal, but the researchers involved are cautioning the public not to get too excited about the uplifting results.

Even if the process proves to work in humans, which is a big if, it would still reintroduce untreated and potentially cancerous cells back into a body that was recently treated for cancer. Consequently, scientists need to do more research to find out whether there’s a way they can treat the frozen cells while outside the body. Still, even with all of the question marks, it’s hard to see how this study could have possibly gone better.

Given these findings, both these researchers and other scientists should be able to secure more grants to study cancer-related infertility. Here’s to hoping the next few studies prove as fruitful as this one.

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