Royal Free Hospital Trust launches pioneering new ovarian tissue freezing for cancer patients

The Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Ken Mears

The Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A new procedure to freeze ovarian tissue of women and girls about to be treated for cancer has been launched by the Royal Free Hospital Trust.

The service, which is the first in the UK to be fully funded by the NHS, will enable specialists to refer patients to the Royal Free ahead of their cancer treatments.

Their ovarian tissue will be frozen, and later implanted to restore their fertility or prevent early menopause.

The service will be offered to patients within the North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area, which encompasses Islington, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Barnet.

The proceedure is commonplace on the continent, but the Royal Free’s move is pioneering in the UK.

Paul Hardiman, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology and the director of the new service, said: “[In the UK] patients often faced having to go abroad and pay to receive this treatment. At a time when patients need to concentrate on life-saving therapies this intervention needs to take place as quickly as possible.”