NPC Member Spotlight: University of Pittsburgh

We’re exited to begin a new blog series to spotlight National Physicians Cooperative member institutions!  If your institution is a member of the NPC, submit your information to us for development of an institution-specific page on the Oncofertility Consortium website, as well as a blog post, to  If you are interested in learning more about how to join the NPC, contact Brigid Smith at or (312)503-2506.


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The Fertility Preservation Program of Pittsburgh was established at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2009. Our multidisciplinary working group includes key stake holders at Magee-Womens Research InstituteMagee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. The program is committed to

  1. Educating patients and their physicians about the reproductive consequences of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer or other conditions
  2. Providing state of the art reproductive technologies to preserve fertility for women, men, girls, and boys
  3. Responsibly translating new reproductive technologies from the laboratory to the clinic

We provide the following services for our patients:

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Please call our dedicated fertility preservation phone line at (412)641-7475 to speak to a nurse or visit our website to learn more about the options for preserving your fertility.

Contact Details:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.21.56 AMKyle E. Orwig, PhD, Director, Fertility Preservation Program, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation


Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.22.08 AMKathrin Gassei, PhD, Program Coordinator

Phone: 412-641-2700

Julie Seifert, CRNP, Nurse Coordinator

Phone: 412-641-7475

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.17.27 AMJoe Sanfilippo, MD, Director, Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC 


Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.17.37 AMPeter Shaw, MD, Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC


Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.17.48 AMScott Kauma, MD, Clinical Director, Fertility Preservation Program, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC


Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.17.55 AMShweta Nayak, MD, Director of Outreach, Fertility Preservation Program, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC


Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.18.01 AMGlenn Cannon, MD, Pediatric Urology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC






Upcoming events with SHARE

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SHARE, a support group for women facing breast and ovarian cancer,  has some great free webinars coming up and all are invited to participate!

Metastatic Breast Cancer:  On Thursday, January 29, from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM EST, Dr. Shari Goldfarb of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will answer the question, “What’s New in the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer?” She’ll describe how the research findings presented at last month’s San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium  are relevant for people living with metastatic disease.

Sign up for this free webinar here:

Coping with Cancer:  On Tuesday, February 3, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM EST, we present “Coping with Cancer: If Cancer is a Gift, What’s the Return Policy?” Cancer psychologist Dr. Mindy Greenstein explores the balancing act of coping with cancer.

Sign up for this free webinar here:

Memoir Writing for those affected by Cancer: This special two-part webinar is presented by Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life and Safekeeping.

Thomas will offer tips on writing your story and will include an assignment for the second session to get you started. She teaches writing workshops and leads the Memoir Group at Kingston ‘s Oncology Support Program of the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley.

All affected by breast or ovarian cancer (including caregivers) are welcome. SHARE presents this series in collaboration with the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN).

Register for both dates of this free series below:

Tuesday, February 17, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EST

Tuesday, February 24, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EST

inviTRA: International Fertility Fair

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 1.03.21 PMLast month, Spain hosted the first assisted reproduction trade fair for patients, inviTRA. The best national and international clinics participated in the free event with exhibitors able to directly address patients during seminars.  Attendees received access to the associated magazine, Assisted Reproduction which has over 500,000 monthly readers and contains explanation of topics by specialists, a forum where patients can ask questions and share experiences, a directory of ART clinics, list of available discounts and resources, along with information about the inviTRA fair, including access to available articles.

Dr. Woodruff featured in Evidence-Based Oncology Journal

Dr. Woodruff was featured in a recent article in Evidence-Based Oncology. Read the article below:

Fertility Preservation in Young Cancer Patients

Published Online: November 17, 2014
Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD

Advanced diagnostic tools and innovative treatment measures in cancer have increased cancer survival rates in the United States. Efforts by the various stakeholders in the drug development process—research scientists, the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA—resulted in the approval of 6 new anticancer agents over a 1-year period ending July 31, 2014, according to the 2014 Progress Report by the American Association for Cancer Research. Additionally, 5 previously approved agents were endorsed for alternate indications.1Along with increased incidence, there has been a significant increase in the number of cancer survivors. While the United States had an estimated 3 million survivors in 1971, that estimate is expected to reach about 14.5 million in 2014, with nearly 380,000 having been diagnosed as children or adolescents.1 One issue that plagues cancer survivors is quality of life, which could stem from either emotional or physical problems, or a combination of the two. Infertility is a major concern: irradiation of the testes or a regimen that includes chemotherapy, especially alkylating agents, can reduce fertility.

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

17th Annual Oncology Nursing Conference

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This Friday and Saturday, November 21-22, 2014, marks the 17th Annual Oncology Nursing Conference which will be hosted by the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.  This year’s meeting, Survivorship: From Diagnosis and Beyond, will tackle important topics facing cancer survivors; from neurotoxicity to psychosocial distress to fertility, and everything in between.  The Fertility and Cancer presentation will be given by Northwestern’s very own Fertility Preservation Patient Navigator, Kristin Smith.

If you haven’t already done so, REGISTER NOW to reserve your spot at this exciting and educational event!

Instapeer Beta Testers Needed!

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 8.02.55 AMThis past year, Stupid Cancer unveiled a new iPhone* app, Instapeer, to ensure that cancer patients never feel isolated during their treatment.  Instapeer is now looking for beta testers for their app.

If you are an AYA patient, survivor or caregiver, please visit and sign up for the beta squad or download the app for free directly at

We appreciate your help!

*iPhone 5 and 6 only

Companies Pay to Freeze Employees’ Eggs

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.46.52 PMYesterday, it was announced that Facebook and Apple are offering egg freezing as part of their insurance coverage for female employees.  Today, there are various editorials, blogs, and opinion pieces regarding the policies; some supportive, some not.

Facebook began offering coverage of up to $20,000 for fertility treatments in January 2014 while Apple will offer coverage in January 2015.  Some reports indicate that Citigroup and Microsoft also offer this coverage with Google considering the option but details are still unknown.

Social fertility preservation – the decision to delay childbearing due to personal choice or circumstances – has been on the rise since 2012 when the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lifted the ‘experimental’ label on egg freezing.  Egg freezing is considered an elective procedure and is typically not covered by standard insurance policies.  The cost of egg freezing and associated procedures can be upwards of $10,000 for each round of egg retrieval and approximately $500 per subsequent year in storage fees.  Egg freezing, if done, should be performed prior to age 35 when a woman’s fertility begins to more steadily decline.

While some applaud these companies for offering women the financial ability to choose to freeze their eggs and focus on career advancement, others believe it sends a message to women that work advancement is more important than personal and family-planning goals.  This is a very polarizing topic; even within the confines of the Oncofertility Consortium there are a vast array of opinions and we look forward to learning more details about the coverage available to employees and from the female employees themselves.


2014 Oncofertility Consortium Videos Now on Website!

Videos from the 2014 Oncofertility Consortium Conference are now online!! To view these, please click here. Enjoy!!

2014 OncofertilIty Consortium Conference

The 2014 Oncofertility Consortium Conference was a great success! For two days, researchers, clinicians, students, and trainees from around the globe transcended on Northwestern University and participated in lectures, panel discussions, and hands-on training programs to learn about the advances in the field of fertility preservation. The most exciting part of the conference was at the conclusion of day 1 where 3 survivors  told their stories at the evening reception. Their stories are powerful reminders that the work we do at the Oncofertility Consortium touches the lives of many and gives hope for future generations of survivors.

My colleagues and I are currently working to upload videos and photos from the conference so please check the website periodically for updates.

We have already started plans for next year’s conference, so please save the date–November 2-3, 2015!

OCC 2014 Speaker Bio: Dr. Daniel Green

The 2014 Oncofertility Consortium Conference is less than a month away! We’re excited to introduce Dr. Daniel Green from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His talk “Fertility and Pregnancy Outcome After Childhood Cancer” will be the culmination to our exciting morning session on day 1 of the conference.

Here is Dr. Green’s bio:

00157917-006_wmDr. Daniel Green is a Member in the Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, where he is the Director of the Consortium for Pediatric Intervention Research. He has a secondary appointment in the Division of Cancer Survivorship, Department of Oncology, where he spends 10% of his time providing clinical services for patients in the After Completion of Therapy Clinic.  Prior to coming to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in January 2008, Dr. Green was a member of the Department of Pediatrics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York and  Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York. Dr. Green was the Chair of the National Wilms Tumor Study Group from 1990 – 2000 when it was merged with the three other pediatric cooperative groups to form the Children’s Oncology group.

Dr. Green’s research interests include identification of adverse effects of treatment for childhood cancer on fertility and pregnancy outcome, which is facilitated by both his involvement as head of the Fertility/Reproduction Working Group of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and the National Wilms Tumor Study Long-Term Follow-Up Study, identification of risk factors for anthracycline cardiomyopathy, and evaluation of screening strategies for evaluation of survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer.  He is interested in the interaction between genetic and exposure variables in the occurrence of post-therapy infertility.  Dr. Green organizes a conference on late effects of treatment for children and adolescents for cancer every two years.

There’s still time to register for the 2014 Oncofertility Consortium Conference!! Click here for more details.

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