A heartfelt appeal

Wanted: egg cells for scientific research

Are you a healthy woman between 18 and 37 years old?
If so, you can help us.

Allowing egg cells to mature in the laboratory (in vitro maturation or IVM)
a promising technique for young women with cancer

In vitro maturation (IVM) stands for maturing immature egg cells in a laboratory.
The egg cells may come from ovarian tissue or can be collected through egg cell retrieval.
IVM - in combination with the freezing of egg cells or ovarian tissue (known scientifically as cryopreservation) - can sometimes be the only chance for young women with cancer to have a child of their own after cancer treatment.
See below, "Preservation of fertility for those who have cancer."

IVM is an innovative technique, which still requires a lot of research.
At UZ Brussel, the Centre for Reproductive Medicine (CRG) and the laboratory for Follicular Biology are dedicated to optimising the IVM technique.
We want to improve the efficacy and safety of the in vitro cultivation methods for egg cells and their cryopreservation.
For this research, we use egg cells from voluntary donors.

The results of the project are promising (see below, "the results of IVM"), but we still need more voluntary donors. That is the only way we will be able to improve the IVM technique to offer a better perspective for the future of young cancer patients.

That is why we are asking you: Can you help us?
Contact the study nurse on studieverpleegkundigen_crg@uzbrussel.be or on +32 (0)2 477 66 48.

As a healthy young woman you can help cancer patients by taking part in the IVM study being run by the CRG. In other words, we are asking you to donate egg cells for our scientific research.
  • You are at least 18 years old and younger than 37.
  • You contact us by phone on +32 2 477 66 48.
    You make an appointment with a study nurse at the CRG for an intake interview and the corresponding tests.
  • You come to see us for Visit No. 1.
    During this visit you will give your written consent for participation in the study.
    We will draw blood and make an ultrasound of your ovaries and womb.
    If the tests reveal that your egg cell reserve is big enough, you will get the go ahead.
  • Depending on your test results, you may or may not have to use the contraceptive pill for two to three weeks
  • .
  • Then Visit No. 2 will be scheduled.
    Again, depending of the results of the blood analysis and ultrasound, we will start with a short course of stimulation with a low dose of hormones.
    These will be administered for three consecutive days.
  • Two days later you will attend for Visit No. 3. We will do a repeat ultrasound.
    The of egg cell collection is scheduled at the same time.
  • Visit No. 4: the egg cell collection is a minor procedure under local anaesthesia. It involves a day case admission to the hospital. After the procedure you are entitled to five days of sick leave.
  • A free check-up by a gynaecologist of your womb, ovaries and egg cell reserve. A check-up of your fertility, in other words
  • A free check-up of your hormonal system and other body functions by means of a blood test.
  • Adequate compensation of your costs.
  • Our grateful recognition for the invaluable contribution you are making to scientific research for reproductive medicine in cancer patients.