The Chicago Tribune has written up a piece about the most recent Oncofertility Saturday Academy class’s graduation. The article highlights some of the quotes from the inspirational and moving speeches that the girls gave and interviews some of the girls about what they’ve learned and how the OSA experience has changed them. We’re all so proud of the girls, and happy to see them getting some well-deserved recognition for all their hard work. You can read the Tribune’s article here.
Filter Applied » Candace Tingen
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has recently launched a new publication series entitled, “Horizons in Bioscience,” which has chosen to highlight Oncofertility in its inaugural edition! The “Horizons in Bioscience” series is part of FASEB’s larger series, “Breakthroughs in Bioscience,” and aims to provide shorter articles highlighting cutting edge research that is on the brink of clinical application, and then to give some history of the research.
To read more about the launching of “Horizons in Bioscience”, click here.
To read the first edition of “Horizons in Bioscience” featuring oncofertility, click here.
On February 2 at 4pm, Dr. Teresa Woodruff will give a talk entitled, “Oncofertility: The Preservation of Fertility Options for Young People with Cancer” as part of the Dean’s Grand Challenges Lecture Series in Medicine and Engineering. The talk will be held in the ITW classroom in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center.
More information on the Dean’s Grand Challenges Lecture Series, which seeks to foster interdisciplinary collaboration together by bringing together engineering and medical faculty members, can be found here.
The very cleverly named article, “Adolescence of Young Adult Oncology” published in the October 2009 issue of Seminars in Oncology is a very interesting update on the new developments and shifts in thinking within young adult oncology. The authors attempt to really define the population of patients that crosses traditional divides, as well as set up guidelines of competencies for clinical practitioners. The article also suggests that a collaboration between oncofertility, developmental psychology, and transitional care will be key for the field to mature.
The full article is available free with registration here.
The local magazine Today’s Chicago Woman‘s most recent issue has an article called, “What’s New in Fertility Treatments: Your Guide to the Latest Fertility Advancements in Chicagoland,” which features information about oncofertility and an interview with Dr. Teresa Woodruff. The article recaps some of the personal patient stories that led to the creation of the , as well as a little information for the public about ovarian cryopreservation. In addition to our own work, the article touches on other advances around Chicago, including those in the areas of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and IVF.
The article is only available in hard copy, but the magazine is free, so run out and grab one today (check here for distribution locations)!
In 2010, WTTW Channel 11 and Northwestern Memorial Hospital will broadcast a special series, “Health Secrets: What Every Woman Should Know,” featuring broadcast journalist Paula Zahn.
The Illinois Women’s Health Registry andwill be featured in the series.
Each one hour program is aimed at addressing women’s health needs at all stages in life. The shows will cover a variety of topics: obesity, body image, menopause, disease prevention and more. The schedule includes:
Coming of Age (Jan 21, at 8:00 PM CST) : This show looks at some of the complex issues facing young women – Body image, obesity and sexual health, and the HPV vaccine debate.
Turning Point (Jan 28 at 8:00 PM CST): This show takes a look a the turning point years when women are making major life and reproductive decisions – practicing safe sex and deciding whether or not to have children. We’ll talk to experts about what happens if you have trouble getting pregnant. And for all of us…how to cope with stress and handle the day-to-day-juggle.
Feeling Great in Midlife: (Feb 4 at 8:00 PM CST): This show looks at what it takes to feel great during the change of life. Menopause and alternative choices for staying healthy are covered, along with discussion about integrative medicine and age-appropriate screenings.
Taking Control After a Diagnosis (Feb 11 at 8:00 PM CST): This concluding episode covers disease prevention and the options available after a diagnosis of heart attack, stroke or cancer.
Northwestern Memorial’s own Dr. Steven Rosen is featured in an online video on the site EmpowHer (clever!), answering a reader question about whether female lymphoma patients can get pregnant. Dr. Rosen discusses some of the variables that may make a pregnancy more difficult during treatment for lymphoma and points out how the ‘s resources are all being used to make sure the answer to this question in the future is a clear, “yes!” It’s always great to see some of the expertise of the working so closely with the public to get information out about oncofertility!
A very interesting article was recently published in the Journal of Oncology Practice entitled, “Addressing Fertility in Patients With Advanced Cancer: How the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Standards and ASCO Guidelines Facilitate Ethical Communication.1 ” The full article can be downloaded here.
The article tackles the issue of the oncologist’s responsibility in discussing fertility preservation treatments with patients whose cancer the believe is incurable. Understandably the issue raises many possible moral issues for the oncologist. The authors state that oncologists may feel that discussing future fertility could send mixed messages to the patient about the severity of their prognosis, or that fertility preservation techniques could delay necessary cancer treatment; a concern that mostly applies to the female patient. Additionally, the oncologist might worry about the adverse effects on any child produced who seems destined to lose a parent to cancer.
While these are obvious reasons that an oncologist might feel uncomfortable addressing these questions with a patient who has advanced cancer, the authors of the paper conclude that good medical practice, and guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, both dictate that the issue should at least be broached. While not requiring an exhaustive review of all fertility preservation methods or recommendation of a preferred preservation regimen, the authors do point out that if the oncologist does not mention the issue, then they are essentially making the decision of non-action for the patient. In an opinion regarding the sharing of fertility preservation information that is shared by the, the authors write provocatively that, “…decisions about reproduction are extraordinarily personal and need to be left up to the patients and their families. The role of the oncologist is not to serve as a gatekeeper for information for the patient just because the patient might make a decision the oncologist believes would be inappropriate.”
1. Debon DJ, Kohnke JM, and Helft PR (2009). “Addressing Fertility in Patients With Advanced Cancer: How the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Standards and ASCO Guidelines Facilitate Ethical Communication.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 5(6): 298-300.
A group of surgeons and oncologists from Stanford University recently published a report that looked at the timing from initial cancer diagnoses to the beginning of surgery or chemotherapy in women who underwent fertility preservation (in the form of oocyte retrieval and cryopreservation, OR) and women who did not (CONtrol). The study found that the time from initial diagnoses to the beginning of chemotherapy was not significantly different depending on whether women chose to undergo fertility preservation (and average of 71 vs 67 days for OR and CON, respectively). The authors conclude, “The time investment required for OR and cryopreservation is manageable and does not significantly prolong the time interval from diagnosis to start of adjuvant chemotherapy.”
Obviously, we are working to make sure that women with even a very small window of opportunity before cancer treatment have options for preserving their fertility. Still, it is very heartening to know that for many women, undergoing potential fertility saving measures does not mean they will necessarily delay their treatment.
The most recent healthbeat from the US Department of Health and Human Services briefly discussed the topic of survivors of childhood cancer having children. The point made is that these patients had no increased risk of having children with birth defects, though they were at higher risks for having preterm births and low birth weights. You can listen to this blurb at the HHS site here.