December 9, 2011


Miami Beach, FL Dec. 9, 2011 – As hundreds of scientists gathered today to discuss fertility preservation at the International Society for Fertility Preservation’s 2nd World Congress in Miami Beach, Fla., American experts in reproductive endocrinology, urology and oncology announced the formation of the Alliance for Fertility Preservation, a coalition to help newly diagnosed cancer patients in the United States access information about fertility preservation options.

Of the 1.3 million people diagnosed with cancer in 2005, roughly 4 percent were below the age of 35 and of childbearing age. However, according to survey responses from cancer survivors of childbearing age, less than half of patients recalled having a discussion of fertility upon being diagnosed with cancer.

The Alliance for Fertility Preservation was formed to help facilitate a dialogue between clinicians and patients who have recently been diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. about the potential loss of fertility due to cancer treatment and the options for fertility preservation.

“When patients are diagnosed with cancer, their healthcare team is primarily focused on survival,” said co-chair Dr. John Mulhall of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), “But, because many cancer treatments can have a negative effect on fertility, we also need to focus on educating patients about fertility preservation options.”

In 2006, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued fertility guidelines to help support the important role of the oncologist in providing information to patients who have recently been diagnosed with cancer about the impact of cancer treatment on fertility and options for preserving fertility. The Alliance for Fertility Preservation intends to build upon these principles.

“The Alliance for Fertility Preservation aims to identify tools to support physicians within the clinical setting, so that they may educate their patients about fertility preservation and enable these patients to make informed decisions about their fertility” said co-chair Dr. Zev Rosenwaks of Weill Cornell Medical College. The tools will facilitate communication between patients and fertility specialists as well as between fertility preservation specialists and oncologists.

In addition to Drs. Mulhall and Rosenwaks, co-chair Dr. Glenn Schattman of Weill Cornell Medical College has assembled a group of experts and advocacy group representatives across specialties, including clinical psychologist Leslie Schover, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as representatives from the fields of reproductive endocrinology, oncology, and primary care to serve on the Alliance for Fertility Preservation.

Over time, the Alliance for Fertility Preservation anticipates working with healthcare systems to ensure that these systems are equipped to provide patients with information about fertility preservation, help to promote research in the field and develop a website intended to house information about patients’ fertility information options and tools to help professionals facilitate dialogue with their patients.

The International Society for Fertility Preservation, led by Dr. Sam Kim, has a mission to promote progress in fertility preservation through international cooperation and collaboration.

The Alliance for Fertility Preservation was made possible with an unrestricted educational grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

i Lee SJ, Schover LR, Patridge AH, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology recommendations on fertility preservation in cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 2006; 24(3): 2917-2931.
ii Lee SJ, Schover LR, Patridge AH, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology recommendations on fertility preservation in cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 2006; 24(3): 2917-2931.
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