What are some goals of the Oncofertility Consortium?
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Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D.
The Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, The Oncofertility Consortium
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
The purpose of the Oncofertility Consortium is really three-fold.
The first is to bring cutting-edge, basic research ideas from the bench to the bedside and to ensure that patients who are treated today continue to have new options provided to them for their fertility preservation, in the face of a cancer diagnosis. So really, a fundamental understanding of the reproductive axis, and the impact of chemotherapies on that reproductive function.
The second goal is to really think about the patients themselves, their needs, their thoughts about fertility—certainly young people with a cancer diagnosis were not thinking in all cases about their fertility options really at that time—and so trying to provide navigation tools and information so that they can make decisions in this time of a cancer diagnosis.
And the third goal is really to change practice plans and to get our physician colleagues to understand the needs of a young cancer patient, which may be different than an older patient, and certainly the concerns of fertility have not always been recognized or appreciated, and so we’re really trying to work with our physician colleagues to ensure that the best options are provided in a timely manner to the patients.