Jacqueline S. Jeruss, MD, Ph.D, a breast surgical oncologist and one of the founding oncology members in the Oncofertility Consortium™, and Dr. Teresa K. Woodruff (Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of The Oncofertility Consortium™) have co-authored a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Preservation of Fertility in Patients with Cancer.” (NEJM 2009; 360:902-911).
The Oncofertility Consortium™ is a nationwide, interdisciplinary and interprofessional group led by Northwestern University researchers, dedicated to the advancement of technologies that will provide improved fertility preserving options to cancer patients whose lifesaving treatments can threaten their fertility. Its goal is to address the scientific, clinical and psychosocial challenges that must be solved to expand the menu of options available and to raise consciousness among scientists, physicians and families about this critical quality of life issue.
Cancer treatments are increasingly successful in improving long term survival. However, these same life saving treatments can impact fertility: fertility preservation has become an important quality of life issue for cancer survivors. Fertility preservation interventions are very effective but must be utilized before cancer treatment can begin. Oncologists, and those who care for young cancer patients, must have the information and resources available to discuss these options with their patients.
This New England Journal of Medicine paper provides a review of the effects of cancer treatment on fertility, the current and future methods of fertility preservation, algorithms for their use in clinical practice and the importance of fertility preservation for in clinical decision-making. Breast cancer treatment is used as template for integration of care. The Oncofertility Consortium is a nationwide network of fertility preservation provider
In a webinar , scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 at 2PM CST, Dr. Jeruss and Dr. Woodruff will discuss the implications of the concepts presented in this paper and the new discipline of oncofertility with moderator Marla Paul.
The Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 at 2 PM CST and will be available at http://oncofertility.northwestern.edu/events/webinars.