An Australian woman has become the world's first person to conceive after being rendered infertile by ovarian cancer.
The woman, known only as Vali, is now 26 weeks pregnant with twins after being told she was infertile by doctors following surgery to have her ovaries removed.
Medical professionals believe her case has the potential to revolutionise fertility treatment across the globe, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The team at fertility clinic Melbourne IVF and The Royal Women's Hospital implanted Vali's own frozen cancer-free ovarian tissue into her abdomen, which allowed her to grow follicles that produced two healthy eggs.
The tissue had been taken through keyhole surgery and frozen. Seven years later, it was grafted to both the left and right sides of the front wall of her abdomen. The tissue began working after a few months and doctors then used hormone treatment to produce the eggs.
Both eggs were fertilised and implanted, and both became viable pregnancies.
Fewer than 30 babies in the world have been born through ovarian tissue transplant, but Vali's case is the first time the tissue has been successfully transplanted in a different part of the body from where it was taken.
Gab Kovacs, the international medical director of Monash IVF, which performed the first Australian ovarian tissue transplant, said: "It makes me quite convinced that the optimal way for preserving fertility will be taking ovarian tissue.
"If I had a patient who was going to lose their fertility to cancer treatment I would offer it from now on".
Kate Stern, Vali's fertility specialist, said: "We have proven that ovarian tissue can still work and function normally outside the pelvis, which is its normal environment. For patients who have severe pelvic disease where we can't put the tissue back, we can now offer these patients the realistic chance of getting pregnant."
Speaking about the moment they found out Vali was pregnant, she said: "I think we all had a good cry together really. Never once did she waver and tell us it was too hard and she wanted to give up."
The Royal Women's Hospital says it wants to develop an emergency centre for women who have conditions that could make them infertile, such as ovarian cancer, so their tissue can be taken and stored for future fertility treatment.