New Publication from Colleagues at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 1.07.55 PMDr. Sana Salih and colleagues have published a new paper, Dexrazoxane Diminishes Doxorubicin-Induced Acute Ovarian Damage and Preserves Ovarian Function and Fecundity in Mice, on fertility preservation in young mice treated with chemotherapies.  Teresa Woodruff says that ‘fertoprotective therapies are the most important next step in research to protect ovarian function in women with cancer.’ Dr. Salih said that the most important points in the paper include ‘The fertoprotective drug, dexrazoxane (Dexra) pre-administration prevented ovarian damage and preserved fertility in pre-pubescent mice treated with doxorubicin (DXR) chemotherapy. Mice treated with Dexra also gave birth to healthier litters, with more pups and larger birth weights than those receiving chemotherapy only. Intriguingly, Dexra also prolonged mice survival following chemotherapy treatment (only 25 % of pre-pubescent mice treated with DXR chemotherapy survived to 8 months while all mice treated with Dexra survived). These high mouse survival rates, ovarian protection and birthing successes were achieved using a dose of Dexra 10 times lower than what is used for adult human cardiac protection.’ Read more at paper can be found here:


CCHMC: Oncofertility Best Practices

CCHMC Oncofertility Consortium Panel Presentation Nov 2015

The final day of the Oncofertility Conference was high-yield for attendees, who were fortunate to hear about best practices in oncofertility from the experts at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Please find their efficient and thorough powerpoint uploaded above. Thank you to Drs. Breech, Hoefgen, Burns and their entire team!


Implementing a High-Powered Oncofertility Program


Dr. Lesley Breech and her Oncofertility team at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital medical Center (CCHMC) shared a fascinating and high-yield overview of best practices in implementing a high-powered oncofertility program. Attendees gained practical knowledge and insight into how a successful patient enrollment process and fertility preservation program can be initiated, rolled out and maintained. It’s inspiring to witness one Oncofertility Consortium center sharing knowledge and experiences that permit numerous others to create their own centers in their corner of the world.unnamed

Stupid Cancer: Evening Panel Discussion


mzThank you to Matthew Zachary, Founder and CEO of Stupid Cancer, and to the patients and families who shared their journeys with us today. Stupid Cancer is a non-profit organization that utilizes evidence-based programs and services to optimize awareness, outreach and support in young adult cancer survivors. We are grateful for lessons learned this evening and for this inspiring and life-giving organization.




Evening Reception with Critical Mass


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We’re excited to co-host an event this evening with Critical Mass, a community-powered advocacy organization empowered to transform the care and treatment of young adults with cancer. Together we’re hosting a meet-and-greet to exchange good conversation and ideas.

Look forward to seeing you at 303 E Superior Street this evening!


Dr. Hayes-Lattin: Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation

Screen-Shot-2015-10-12-at-2.19.49-PMDr. Hayes-Lattin gave a stimulating lecture on the status of insurance coverage for fertility preservation and what we can do as healthcare providers, researchers and advocates to allow our patients to receive oncofertility coverage. Up to 60% of cancer survivors are at risk for iatrogenic infertility related to their cancer treatments and concern for infertility is second only to mortality concern among survivors. We learned that Medicaid distinguishes medically-indicated procedures (e.g. fertility preservation in cancer patients) from medically-necessary procedures. Dr. Hayes-Lattin proposed that we combine grassroots movements, company-by-company pitches and pursuit of legislation at the state and/or federal levels to advocate for coverage. He demonstrated that among 1 million insured lives, only 66 reproductive-age patients with cancer who are at risk for infertility will undergo cryopreservation, which would amount to an additional cost per member per month of just 3 cents. Thank you for motivating us to continue efforts to obtain coverage for these patients!


Dr. Meacham: Sexual Function in Male Cancer Survivors

MeachamAfter hearing about issues with sexual function in female young adult cancer survivors, Dr. Meacham shared with us the special issues in young adult male cancer survivors. She discussed how sexual function includes both physical and emotional components and has a key role in determining quality of life. Dr. Meacham highlighted a major theme of the Conference, that childhood cancer survivors experience accelerated aging such that while the general population experiences hypertension, cardiovascular disease and male sexual health disorders in their 6th decade of life, cancer survivors experience these earlier. She highlighted the need for assessments using validated questionnaires and goaded providers to initiate discussions on sexual health using the PLISSIT (permission, limited information, specific suggestions and intensive therapy) model.

Dr. Woodard: Sexual Function in Female Cancer Survivors

WoodardDr. Woodard, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at MD Anderson and Baylor discussed special issues in sexual functioning among female young adult cancer survivors. She reviewed how surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapies can have long-term and late effects such as fistulas, sensory changes or nerve damage. Dr. Woodard paid special attention to adverse psychosocial outcomes, such as mood and body image disorders, social isolation and low self-esteem and emphasized the need for screening assessments to recognize and treat survivors with sexual health disorders. While treatment options are numerous, quick fixes are rare such that Dr. Woodard encouraged providers to counsel patients that recovery is a process that can require therapy, rehabilitation and a re-setting of expectations.

Survivorship and Psychosocial Issues Panel

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Drs. Didwania
, Reichek and Victorson and RNs Karen Kinahan and Karin Danner-Koptik brought unique perspectives to this afternoon’s panel discussion on psychosocial issues among cancer survivors. They engaged us in a stimulating conversation about the numerous and varied psychosocial and quality of life issues cancer survivors experience. Themes included allowing patient concerns to guide discussion and repeating or readdressing quality-of-life discussions, as patients can forget these conversations in the midst of highly-detailed prognostic or therapeutic discussions. In a perfectly timed introduction to this afternoon’s sessions on the topic, moderators reviewed the importance of addressing the “elephant in the room” of sexual health, sexuality and function.

Gender Dysphoria Panel

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Dr. Garofalo
Dr. FinlaysonJennifer Leininger and Dr. Lawson brought their respective expertise to generate a stimulating, thought-provoking discussion on fertility preservation in gender dysphoria patients at this year’s Oncofertility Consortium 2015 Conferece . Dr. Garofalo, MD/MPH and Director of the Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention at Lurie Children’s Hospital, set the stage by reviewing definitions then highlighted barriers to access and care in this population. Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Finlayson shared valuable lessons on the medical treatment of pubertal gender dysphoria patients, including pubertal suppression, and emphasized the need for additional investigation to establish threshold values at which hormonal therapies negatively impact fertility. Jennifer Leininger, Program Coordinator for Gender Dysphoria Clinic at Lurie, continued by discussing how to create gender-affirming spaces and reproductive psychologist Dr. Lawson discussed key issues in how we can provide the overall best care for these patients, including setting realistic expectations through frank conversations. Specifically, Dr. Lawson called attention to the need to discuss anticipated costs associated with treatments both in the short and long-term and to review future necessary treatments to permit use of cryopreserved gametes, including gestational surrogacy when appropriate.

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