Introducing OC Conference Speaker Kyle Orwig, PhD

Today’s speaker bio is Kyle Orwig, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Orwig will be giving a talk at the conference entitled: Stem Cell Therapies for Male Infertility.

Kyle Orwig, MD OB-GYNDr. Orwig joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh in 2003 and is currently Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.  He is the director of research in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and director of the Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology Graduate Program at the University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Orwig has been continuously funded by NIH with research focused primarily on stem cells and spermatogenic lineage development in rodents, monkeys and men.  Dr. Orwig is the founding director of the Fertility Preservation Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  In this capacity, his group is keenly interested in understanding the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on gonadal function and the development of technologies to preserve and restore the fertility of cancer survivors. To learn more about Dr. Orwig’s program, follow the links below:

Fertility Preservation Program in Pittsburgh:

Orwig Laboratory:

To register for the upcoming Oncofertility Consortium Conference or to learn more about it, click here.

Oncofertility Consortium Conference Speaker Series

In anticipation of the Oncofertility Consortium Conference on September 22-23, we will be showcasing our conference speakers in an upcoming series of blogs. Each year the OC conference features the leading national and international experts in the field of fertility preservation. This year’s conference is no exception and we are excited to introduce our first speaker in the series, Zsolt Peter Nagy, MD,PhD, HCLD.

Peter Nagy, MD, PhDDr. Zsolt Peter Nagy was born in Hungary, and joined Reproductive Biology Associates as Scientific and Laboratory Director in August 2002. He has a vast experience and expertise in performing and supervising assisted reproduction procedures. Dr. Nagy has performed, coordinated and supervised several research projects that have been awarded with national and international grants. Most recently, he and his team contributed to significant improvements in oocyte cryopreservation using vitrification technology, which led to the establishment of the first highly-efficient egg cryo-bank in the United States. The same novel approach now offers a long awaited option for women to preserve their fertility for medical reasons.

His professional career in assisted reproduction started at the Department of Reproductive Medicine (Brussels University) in 1989, as a medical scientist on the team that first developed intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a novel insemination method, now utilized world-wide.

Dr. Nagy is a member of several national and international professional societies, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and Alpha Scientist in Reproductive Medicine, and serves on various committees of these societies. He has been an invited speaker on hundreds of medical and scientific meetings over the last 20 years.

He has been the Associate Editor of two highly ranked scientific journals: Human Reproduction and Reproductive Biomedicine Online. Dr. Nagy has authored or co-authored over 200 articles published in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals, as well written or edited several books and book chapters.

We are looking forward to Dr. Nagy’s talk on the topic of oocyte cryopreservation on September 22 at the conference! To register for the conference, click here.

The Fertility Preservation Society of India Hosting 1st Annual Meeting

The Fertility Preservation Society of India, a global partner of the Oncofertility Consortium, is excited to host their inaugural conference: “Fertility Preservation- Current Concepts” on September 6-7, 2014 in New Delhi, India. The conference is endorsed by the International Society of Fertility Preservation (ISFP) and the Japanese Society for Fertility Preservation (JSFP) and will feature an array of international experts in the field. Congratulations to our partners in India for organizing and hosting this exciting event!!

To learn more about the Oncofertility Consortium Global Partners, click here.

Register for the 2014 Oncofertility Consortium Conference!

The 8th annual Oncofertility Consortium Conference is just over a month away! This conference attracts more than 150 researchers, clinicians, advocates, and trainees from around the globe who are dedicated to ensuring reproductive health for cancer survivors whose disease or treatment may impair fertility. This year’s conference, Bench to Bedside: Oncofertility Advances in Males and Females, features an exciting agenda including talks from experts in the field, breakout sessions, and hands-on lab training courses. This is a two day long event in Chicago on September 22-23. Register now to reserve your spot!

Oncofertility and Pediatric Oncology

National Physicians Cooperative member Leslie Appiah, MD, was featured in this month’s issue of MD Update. Dr. Appiah is an active member of the NPC and is also the Director of Oncofertility at the University of Kentucky, which she recently established at the university. This is the second Oncofertility site she has establishedScreen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.03.53 PM. In 2006, while working at Cinncinati Children’s Hospital, Dr. Appiah built their oncofertility program as well. Dr. Appiah has relied on the work of the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University to serve as her model for the two highly successful programs. She has worked with Dr. Woodruff and engaged with many other collaborators to develop treatment protocols so that all patients receive the same outstanding standard of care.  Dr. Appiah’s work with oncofertility is a true testament to her devotion to young pediatric cancer patients. She is truly a leader in the field.

To read the entire feature, click here.

Dr. Appiah will also be at the 2014 Oncofertility Consortium Conference and will be co-chairing the session on pediatrics. To register for the conference, click here.


Adoption and Oncofertility: Another Option for Cancer Survivors

A recent feature in Cure magazine discusses adoption as another option for cancer survivors who want to build a family. Each patient is unique. The impact of a given treatment on fertility can vary and so can the time available before starting life saving treatments. Patient age, marital status, personal wishes, religious and cultural constraints and prognosis may all affect decision making. While some patients may lose reproductive function as a result of their treatment, third-party reproductive options are available for survivors.  This article explores adoption as one of the many options for patients and gives a better understanding of the adoptive process including costs and potential pitfalls and challenges patients may face. To read the story in its entirety, please click here.

The Oncofertility Consortium wants to ensure that patients, providers, partners, and parents are aware of the many fertility preservation options that exist. In order to aid survivors with the challenges that may arise during the adoptive process, the Oncofertility Consortium conducted a survey of adoption agencies and created a list of cancer friendly adoption agencies. For more information on adoption and cancer-friendly adoption agencies, please visit our website.

Top 20 Articles in Reproduction and Endocrinology

Dr. Woodruff’s article “Reproductive endocrinology: fertility in female survivors of childhood cancer” was recently listed as one of the top 20 articles in the field of reproduction and endocrinology since 2013. This article was listed at the 8th most influential in the list of 20. Dr. Woodruff’s impact in the field of reproduction and endocrinology remains clear and she joins of the likes of other highly influential scholars on the list. Congratulations to Dr. Woodruff for this honor!

The entire list is now available on the website and can be accessed here.

Estimates of Young Breast Cancer Survivors at Risk for Infertility in the U.S.

Gonadotoxic therapies, such as chemotherapy, used to treat breast cancer can have harmful effects on fertility- they destroy ovarian follicles, or women’s reserve of ova, resulting in amenorrhea and/or early menopause. Additionally, many endocrine therapies used to treat breast cancer have indirect effects on fertility, often impairing ovulatory and endometrial function.

Approximately 11% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are under age 45, and one of the largest predictors of infertility after cancer treatment in women is age: 5% of women diagnosed with cancer at age 30, 32% of women diagnosed at age 35, and 80% of women diagnosed at age 40 are infertile after cancer treatment. Women under age 45 have unique survivorship concerns- including the risk of infertility due to cancer treatment.

Current guidelines from both the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommend discussing the impact of cancer treatment on fertility and fertility preservation options with all reproductive-aged patients. These discussions need to take place as early as possible following a cancer diagnosis so there is time to consider all fertility preservation options.

gI_60565_TO-poppy-and-STOIt is unknown how many women in the United States are at risk for loss of fertility following breast cancer treatment. A recently published article by Trivers et al. (2014) in The Oncologist, estimated the number of  breast cancer survivors in the U.S. at risk of infertility for whom fertility preservation education is necessary. Trivers et al. (2014) also estimated the number of at-risk survivors who may desire pregnancy and therefore may benefit from a more in-depth fertility preservation consultation as well.

The study combined data from several different sources:

  • National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR)
  • National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program
  • NPCR’s 2004 Breast and Prostate Cancer Data Quality and Patterns of Care (PoC) study
  • 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG)

In the cancer registry data, an average of 20,308 women with breast cancer aged <45 years were diagnosed annually. Based on estimates from PoC data, almost all of these survivors (97%, 19,416 women) were hormone receptor positive or received chemotherapy and would be at risk for infertility. These women should receive information about the impact of treatments on fertility. Estimates based on NSFG data suggest approximately half of these survivors (9,569 women) might want children and could benefit from fertility counseling and fertility preservation.

Trivers et al. (2014) conducted the first study determining that nearly all young women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will receive therapy and treatment that puts them at risk for infertility, and approximately half of at-risk survivors may be interested in having children in the future. Therefore health care providers should discuss the potential impact of cancer treatment on fertility with all reproductive-aged patients diagnosed with cancer and refer them to a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins.

Unfortunately, barriers exist which prevent young women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer from receiving the needed information regarding their future fertility. Many survivors have reported not receiving information about how cancer treatment effects fertility and/or available fertility preservation options. Nevertheless, health care providers have a critical role in discussing potential risk of infertility in the context of treatment decision making and determining the patient’s interest in having children. Additionally, financial constraints make it difficult for women to proceed with fertility preservation procedures.  Cancer survivors should have access to and coverage for fertility preservation services given the risk of potential infertility and the subsequent quality-of-life implications. The American Medical Association (AMA) recently released a policy supporting coverage by all insurance companies of fertility preservation techniques for cancer patients requiring treatment that may result in infertility.

In conclusion, Trivers et al. (2014) data showed the importance of and the need for fertility preservation consultations and access to oncofertility specialists among almost all young women diagnosed with breast cancer.


Estimates of Young Breast Cancer Survivors at Risk for Infertility in the U.S.

Katrina F. Trivers, Aliza K. Fink, Ann H. Partridge, Kutluk Oktay, Elizabeth S. Ginsburg, Chunyu Li and Lori A. Pollack

The Oncologist published online June 20, 2014

Read the full article, along with updated information and services, at: 

Oncofertility Patient Education

A variety of patient education materials have been created for providers to use in the oncofertility care setting- materials that describe fertility preservation options in easy-to-understand language and have been designed in multiple platforms ranging from informational fact sheets to internet videos. The Oncofertility Consortium has gathered the existing oncofertility patient aids and organized them within our Oncofertility Decision Tool Web Portal.

An entire section of the portal is devoted to patient education. We have done this so providers can quickly access materials when reproductive age patients whose fertility is threatened by their disease or treatment are on their clinic schedule.

Every patient has a unique learning style and therefore the following types of oncofertility educational materials are available for patients:

  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) one-page fact sheet with short summaries of the available fertility preservation options available to men and women diagnosed with cancer
  • Personal Accounts of Cancer and Infertility provided by Fertile Hope
  • An interactive web-based video designed for patients who may not have access to a full fertility preservation consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist
  • Interactive and informational websites, such as:
    • The Livestrong Foundation
    • Fertile Action
  • The 24-hour fertility preservation hotline: FERTline
  • An electronic booklet on adolescent and young adult cancer issues created by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
  • The Moving Forward video series created by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO)







If you would like the oncofertility patient education materials your clinic provides to patients included in the Oncofertility Decision Tool Web Portal, please email us at or comment below.


Oncofertility Clinical Guidelines, Recommendations, & Opinions

Need to stay up to date on the latest clinical guidelines, recommendations, and opinions? Our Oncofertility Decision Tool Web Portal has an entire section devoted to bringing you ALL of the clinical guidelines affecting fertility preservation and oncology care.  We designed it this way so the resources you need are at your fingertips- organized in one easy to access online location. Check out our Clinical Recommendations, Guidelines, and Opinions section of the Oncofertility Web Portal today!

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.23.36 AMThe resources are listed in reverse chronological order and directly link to the clinical recommendations in PDF format making them easy to download to your desktop or print. We have also summarized each guideline explaining how health care providers may benefit from each resource.





Our Clinical Recommendations, Guidelines, and Opinions are pulled from the following organizations:

  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • British Fertility Society
  • Children’s Oncology Group
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
  • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)

Check out our NEW Oncofertility Decision Tool Web Portal section on Clinical Guidelines, Recommendations, and Opinions. We want your feedback!

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