Korean Society for Fertility Preservation

GlobeThe Korean Society for Fertility Preservation

The Oncofertility Consortium is pleased to announce another Global Partner in Korea: The Korean Society for Fertility Preservation (KSFP).  Please see below information provided by KSFP in both English and Korean and review the Oncofertility Global Partners webpage to learn more.


The Korean Society for Fertility Preservation (KSFP) was created in 2013 to help collaboration between the medical doctors and researchers who specialize in reproductive medicine and oncology. The ultimate purpose of this society is to help patients undergoing treatments affecting their fertilityand reproductive function. The goals of KSFP are academic education, networking, advertisement, discussion and development of standard protocol forfertility preservation.

KSFP holds an annual conference and lecture. Furthermore, the society has established a national fertility preservation network with a regional center hospital in each state to implement the use of fertility preservation. This network hopes to improve the quality of treatment and to achieve the same level of productivity in each state. KSFP is pursuing a clinical guideline for fertility preservation in the future. The president is Prof. Seok Hyun Kim in Seoul National University College of Medicine.


대한가임력보존학회 (The Korean Society for Fertility Preservation) 은 가임력보존 치료에 대한 의료인 및 연구자들간의 학술적인 교류 및 교육, 가임력보존에 대한 홍보 강화, 가임력보존의 표준 치료방침 논의 및 개발 등의 목적을 위해 보다 많은 관련 분야의 의료인과 연구자들의 협력을 위해 2013년 창립되었습니다.

주된 활동은 각각 연 1회의 연수강좌와 학술대회의 개최 외에도, 전국적인 가임력보존 치료의 활성화와 전국 동일 수준의 가임력보존 치료의 달성을 위해 전국 가임력보존 네트워크 (National Fertility Preservation Network)를 확립하여 각 지역의 거점병원을 선정하고, 거점병원에 대한 기술이전을 통해 각 지역에서의 가임력보존 치료의 수준을 향상시키고, 나아가 지역거점병원을 중심으로 지역내의 가임력보존 치료의 활성화와 치료수준의 향상을 도모하고자 노력하고 있습니다. 또한 가임력보존 치료의 표준 치료지침 (Clinical Guideline)의 작성을 추진과제로 하고 있습니다. 회장님은 서울의대 산부인과학 교실 김 석현 교수님이십니다.


We again welcome The Korean Society for Fertility Preservation and are thrilled at the growing reach of the Oncofertility movement.  Read our blog and review our Global Partners page to learn more!

Stupid Cancer Chicago Meet-up: June 25th


The Oncofertility Consortium is pleased to spread the word about an upcoming Stupid Cancer Meet-up with founder and CEO (and a wonderful friend of the Oncofertility Consortium), Matthew Zachary.  Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 25th - read more below!

Wednesday June 25th @7:00pm

Rockit Bar & Grill

22 W Hubbard St

Chicago, Illinois 60654

Got cancer? Under 40? Sucks, huh? Well, its time to get busy living with an official Stupid Cancer Meetup, made possible by your friends over at Stupid Cancer, a non-profit organization that empowers young adults affected by cancer through innovative and award-winning programs and services.

Come out for a very special meetup with Stupid Cancer founder and CEO, Matthew Zachary.  Learn about his experiences as a young adult survivor and how it drove him to create the most prominent nonprofit focusing on young adults affected by cancer.  Additionally, learn about Stupid Cancer’s programs and initiatives, including the OMG! Cancer Summits, Cancer Con, Instapeer, boot camps, town halls, and more.  Hear from past attendees and ask all your burning questions.

It’s time to get busy living – and we’ll see you there!  To learn more about Stupid Cancer, visit stupidcancer.org.


We need your votes!

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is hosting  a contest for songs and videos demonstrating the cutting edge science funded by the office of the director.  The Oncofertility Consortium has two videos in the running and we’d love your support!  

To vote for our videos, follow the links below and cast your vote by clicking the ‘like‘ button.

The Oncofertility Consortium 


The Oncofertility Saturday Academy


Thanks for helping us spread the word about the exciting research being done through the Oncofertility Consortium!


New Korean Oncofertility Global Partner

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 8.40.14 AMThe Oncofertility Consortium is excited to announce another Global Partner: The Cheil General Hospital (CGH) & Women’s Healthcare Center in Seoul, Korea!  We had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Chanwoo Park last week at the Oncofertility Consortium offices here in Chicago, IL to discuss Global Partnership and introduce him to Oncofertility Consortium members.  We asked him to write a brief blog about his institution which we’ve shared below in both English and Korean.  Please join us in welcoming The Cheil General Hospital and Women’s Healthcare Center as another Oncofertility Global Partner!


The Cheil General Hospital (CGH) & Women’s Healthcare Center was founded in 1963 and became the first medical institution in Korea dedicated specifically to women. For the past 50 years, CGH has been a pioneer in the advancement of women’s medicine and has upheld the “patient first” philosophy by providing medical services of the highest quality. CGH currently operates 16 departments and 32 specialized clinics. CGH has established Korea’s infertility treatment. In fact, CGH features one of the highest success rates in in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo, oocyte freezing. CGH was the first private hospital to successfully use IVF with frozen embryos in Asia. Currently, 4,500 eggs and embryos are frozen each year at CGH. Further, the relative success rate of IVF with previously frozen embryos is much higher at CGH than at the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). In addition to treating cancer, the Women Cancer Center of CGH extends fertility preservation resources to all their patients.

제일병원 미래맘 가임보존센터는 가임보존을 위한 체계적인 의료를 제공합니다.

아시아 최초 동결배아이식 성공이라는 역사를 바탕으로 꾸준히 연구한 결과 동결란 분야에서 세계적인 성공률을 얻고있습니다. 난자와 배아의 발달에 따른 최적의 동결보존 방법을 사용하고 있으며 융해시 90% 이상의 생존율을 나타내고 있습니다. 현재 매년 4500여 개의 난자와 배아를 동결하고 있으며, 동결란 이식주기 성공율은 SART에서 보고하고 있는 자료보다 높은 결과를 보여주고 있습니다. 다양한 동결기기와 최고의 의료진과 연구진의  지속적인 노력과 연구를 통하여 성공적인 임신에 최선을 다하고 있습니다.


We thank Dr. Park for his visit and welcome him and The Cheil General Hospital & Women’s Healthcare Center to the Oncofertility Consortium.  Special thanks goes to Woodruff Lab member, So-Youn Kim, PhD, for facilitating his visit.  Review our Oncofertility Consortium Global Partner webpages and learn more about our wide-reaching collaborators.

Educational Opportunity: Having Children After Cancer

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 3.14.49 PMSHARE Cancer Support is hosting an educational event, Having Children After Cancer, on Wednesday, May 14th from 6:00-7:30pm EST.  Dr. Diana Chavkin, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) specialist at Genesis Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, will discuss fertility preservation options before and after cancer treatment with a Q&A session to follow.  This event is available both in-person and via Webinar and is open to the public.  Register online or email rsvp@sharecancersupport.org and indicate whether you will attend in person or online.  Don’t miss this exciting event!

Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Time: 6:00-7:30pm (Eastern Time)

Location: Online or in-person

SHARE Main Office

1501 Broadway, Suite 704A

Manhattan, NY

Registration: Register online, email rsvp@sharecancersupport.org, or call (212)719-2943

Repropedia now available in Portuguese!

The Oncofertility Consortium is happy to announce the translation of Repropedia into Portuguese.  Repropedia is a reproductive dictionary created by an international team of scientists and clinicians led by investigators at Northwestern University.  This site provides information on common reproductive science terms that can be very useful to patients and providers.

Dr. Teresa Almeida Santos of the Portuguese Oncofertility Society translated Repropedia into Portuguese and it was recently posted to the Oncofertility Consortium website for easy access.  The newest translation can be found here: http://oncofertility.northwestern.edu/portuguese-repropedia-vers%C3%A3o-portuguesa-de-portugal.

Examining Information Processing

The Oncofertility Consortium is pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron as a guest blogger today.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 2.14.57 PMThis is a blog post based on the article, Toward theoretical understanding of the fertility preservation decision-making process: examining information processing among young women with cancer by authors P.E. Hershberger, L. Finnegan, S. Altfeld, S. Lake, and J. Hirshfeld-Cytron, in Research and Theory for Nursing Practice.

By: Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, MD/MSCI

Despite a clear desire among cancer patients to receive oncofertility counseling, studies have shown about a third of patients do not follow up with care following the consultation.  Increased attention is being drawn to the process of decision making and the best ways to deliver information.  In addition, what is the process of which information can be successfully processed and a decision made during such a stressful time?

As health care providers, we constantly strive to make sure we are accurately discussing medical data with our patients.  Furthermore, our goal is to help patients come to a decision that they are comfortable with based on sound scientific evidence and their unique perspectives.  This process is even more important when approaching a subject such as oncofertility which is elective and involves planning for the cancer remission phase, newly after an initial cancer diagnosis is made.

Using a qualitative approach and decision theory we conducted in depth interviews of 27 women with a recent cancer diagnosis that were eligible for fertility preservation.  We discovered that 85% reported receiving counseling, but a majority reported that they felt it was inadequate.  Woman often go to the internet for supplemental material; in particular they are interested in learning other woman’s experiences.  Health care providers could provide accurate websites such as myoncofertility.org to assure patients are receiving medically sound information. This site also provides patient’s stories.  Our analysis further suggests using broad probing questions during the consultation should be used judiciously as women are often unsure of what questions to ask clinicians regarding how their particular needs impact their fertility preservation options. Having an organized informational approach and a collaborative and cohesive medical team were all essential strategies that can facilitate decision making.  In particular, navigating the medical system can be overwhelming and informing patients about how to navigate the system and using patient navigators can enhance the patient experience.

A true collaborative team across specialties and between MDs, nurses, social workers, and other clinicians such as patient navigators is also essential; particularly as members of the support team engage in what are research identified as “decisional debriefing sessions.” These debriefing sessions are focused aspects of counseling sessions where active information processing takes place.  Assuring that women receive an oncofertility consultation is only the beginning, in this next phase of fertility preservation we need to assure patients are undergoing productive consultations in the context of a larger collaborative medical team.

Fertility-Friendly States

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 9.11.02 AMYesterday, the Huffington Post published an article outlining states that are ‘Fertility-Friendly’.  The article, ‘State-By-State ‘Fertility Friendliness’ Ranking Show Wide Range’ was written by Resolve: The National Infertility Association in partnership with EMD Serono Inc., a biotech drug company that makes fertility treatments.  While many states  claim to have mandated insurance coverage for infertility, oftentimes the mandate only covers diagnosis and excludes in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other treatments.  With the cost of treatments such as IVF averaging over $12,000 for one cycle, mandates that exclude coverage to this level leave such treatments out of reach for many women.  Review this article and research the insurance mandates for your state.  The Oncofertility Consortium supports initiatives to increase access to fertility treatment for patients.

Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation

978-1-4614-8234-5 (1)Chapter 14 of Oncofertility Communication: Sharing Information and Building Relationships across Disciplines addresses an extremely important issue in healthcare, insurance coverage.  The authors, Dr. Laxmi Kondapalli and Alice Crisci, wrote Incorporating Insurance Education into the Fertility Preservation Process to outline strategies that may facilitate access to fertility preservation services for patients.

An important component to ensure insurance coverage is the referral to an oncofertility specialist.  This allows patients the opportunity to fully understand the endocrine impact from their specific cancer treatment and all the potential associated side effects including menstrual irregularities, sub-fertility and infertility, sexual dysfunction, metabolic disturbances, cardiovascular and bone health.  Providers should determine what type of pre-authorization is required for the specific insurance companies.  This information can typically be found on their web site.  From there, providers must use the appropriate diagnosis codes for the visits.   For oncofertility patients, it is essential to use the cancer diagnosis as the primary diagnosis code for the consultation.  Beyond that, special V codes for fertility preservation have been developed and are billable medical codes that can be used on reimbursement claims.  Often, these billing measures are coupled with a Letter of Medical Necessity.

Letters of Medical Necessity are used by insurance companies to review benefits coverage and usually include patient name and date of birth, insurance carrier name and patient identification number, clinical diagnosis and ICD code, cancer treatment plan, side effects of treatment plan associated with reproductive health, proposed ICD-10 codes and associated V-codes that you are requesting coverage, case for coverage, physician signature, and contact details.  Chapter 14 outlines, in detail, a list of factors that can be included in the Letter of Medical Necessity.  Read through the chapter for the full list, but an example is guidelines from professional organizations such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology or American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

As we’re all aware of, the journey to insurance coverage can often include denial and the start of an appeal process.  The Affordable Care Act ensures a patient’s right to appeal health insurance decisions, including asking insurers to reconsider its decision to deny payment for a service or treatment.  Patients typically have to navigate the appeal process independently with the support of the Letter of Medical Necessity from their provider.  Patients can also submit a letter of appeal for fertility preservation on their own behalf and the Oncofertility Consortium has appeal letter templates available on our website.

Unfortunately, many states across the country  do not require insurance coverage for infertility treatment for people who may become infertile as a result of cancer or medical treatments.  While legislature has been introduced in a number of states to expand existing fertility coverage to cover infertility caused by cancer treatment, our work is just beginning.  Advocacy groups, such as the Livestrong Foundation and the Cancer Legal Resource Center, are actively collaborating with key legislators to address this issue and the Oncofertility Consortium is proud to support their efforts.

AYA Twitter Chat TODAY 12:30pm CST (#YACancer)

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 9.32.40 AMRecently, Mashable featured Jenna Benn in a wonderful article: Wedding, Career, Chemo: When Cancer Derails the Millennial Dream.  Jenna Benn is a patient of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at and a wonderful friend and supporter of the Oncofertility Consortium.

Due to the interest and response to her article, Mashable has organized an Adolescent Young Adult Twitter chat today, March 28th from 12:30-1:30pm central time.  Please use hashtag is #YACancer when responding to any questions generated during the chat or re-tweeting to your followers.

Please join us TODAY at 12:30-1:30pm CST for the Mashable AYA Twitter chat about cancer and the millennial generation!  



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