Paediatric Fertility Decision Aid
Fertility loss is one of the side effects of cancer treatment. Advances in reproductive technologies may one day offer children and adolescents with cancer, the possibility of future fertility through ovarian or oocyte tissue retrieval and storage prior to commencement of cancer therapy. However such treatments are regarded as investigational in children due to immaturity of gonadal tissue, and also pose unique clinical and ethical dilemmas with respect to informed consent and beneficience for the young person. It is now recommended that where cancer treatment poses a fertility risk, fertility preservation should be discussed with all patients, and with parents or guardians.
Long-term survivors report dissatisfaction with the quality of such discussions, or have no memory of them. Over 95% of paediatric oncologists surveyed in Australia and New Zealand believe that centre-specific clinical protocols are necessary to establish standards of care. However such guidelines rarely exist. Furthermore there is little information on recovery of gonadal function post chemotherapy in children and adolescents, to further guide discussions regarding fertility options after chemotherapy. Several sub-studies are available which may assist with the development of Fertility Preservation guidelines and improve patient outcomes at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, which include the evaluation of a fertility preservation decision aid for parents.
POTENTIAL PROJECTS FOR STUDENTS:
Yasmin Jayasinghe, Michelle Peate, Catherine Allingham, Matthew Kemertzis, Lynn Gillam, Maria McCarthy, Sadunee Jayasuriya, Margaret Zacharin, Yves Heloury, Lisa Orme, Michael Sullivan, Fertility Preservation Taskforce
To see the complete list of published papers and presentations related to this study, click here