Dr. Yoko Miyoshi, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, and her colleagues recently published a paper in the Journal of the Japanese Society for Pediatric Endocrinology. Dr. Miyoshi, and many of the other authors on the paper, are all active members of the Japanese Society for Fertility Preservation, which is also a member of the Oncofertility Global Partners Network. Congratulations to Dr. Miyoshi and all of her colleagues on a job well-done! Below is the abstract. To read the paper in its entirety, click here.
An increasing number of pediatric cancer patients survive, and treatment-related infertility represents one of the most important issues for these patients. While official guidelines in Japan recommend long-term follow-up of childhood cancer survivors (CCSs), their gonadal function and fertility have not been clarified. To address this issue, we organized a working panel to compile evidence from long-term survivors who received treatments for cancer during childhood or adolescence. In collaboration with members of the CCS Committee of the Japanese Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (JSPE), we conducted a questionnaire survey regarding reproductive function in pediatric cancer patients. A cross-sectional survey was sent to 178 JSPE-certified councilors who were asked to self-evaluate the medical examinations they had performed. A total of 151 responses were obtained, revealing that 143 endocrinologists were involved in the care of CCSs. A quarter of the respondents reported having experienced issues during gonadal or reproductive examinations. Several survivors did not remember or fully understand the explanation regarding gonadal damage, and faced physical and psychological distress when discussing the risk of becoming infertile. Pediatric endocrinologists had anxieties regarding their patients' infertility and the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and delivery problems. Only a limited number of endocrinologists had experience with managing childbirth and fertility preservation. Many councilors mentioned the necessity for inter-disciplinary communication among healthcare providers. Both endocrinologists and oncologists should set and follow a uniform clinical guideline that includes management of fertility of CCSs.