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Pediatric and Young Adult Cancer Patients and Fertility Preservation

At the Oncofertility Consortium, we stress the importance of collaboration among clinicians, basic scientists, and the humanities in an effort to ensure that cancer patients have fertility options after treatment. This is no small feat, but the emerging field of oncofertility is constantly evolving as new fertility preservation techniques are developed, existing ones are improved and the impact of gonadotoxic cancer treatment is examined. In a new article written by oncofertility researchers, Katherine E. Dillon and Clarisa R. Gracia, and edited by Jacqueline Jeruss, in the journal, Current Treatments in Oncology, entitled, “Pediatric and Young Adult Patients and Oncofertility,” the authors explore the various fertility preservation options available to pediatric and young adult patients and argue that a team approach is needed between oncologists and reproductive endocrinologists in order to provide the best outcomes for young patients.

Among the fertility preservation techniques currently available, the authors discuss options available for both males and females including lesser known options for females such as oophoropexy (relocating the ovaries out of the radiation field to protect them from exposure during treatment), and hormone replacement therapy for pre-pubertal cancer patients. Options available for males are sperm banking and testicular tissue banking for pre-pubescent males. Testicular tissue banking is still experimental and requires further scientific development.

Increasing numbers of pediatric and young adult cancer patients are surviving well into their reproductive years, therefore the authors state that clinicians need to be informed about the impact of cancer therapies on both males and females, as well as the available fertility preservation techniques for this demographic. They also maintain that it is imperative for clinicians to understand the most recent advances in oncofertility to better understand the future direction of the field and potential fertility preservation techniques that will one day be practiced in a clinical setting. To read, “Pediatric and Young Adult Patients and Oncofertility,” please click here.

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