WELCOME TO FUTuRE FERTILITY
Improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer has led to significant improvements in survival rates. The loss of reproductive or sexual function following diagnosis of cancer or a serious but non-malignant disease, or its treatment, is a significant survivorship consideration for many patients. The use of treatments that can affect the future fertility of men, women, and children and the late effect consequences of infertility and sexual dysfunction can have a lasting impact on a patient’s physical and psychological well- being.
The term ‘oncofertility’ describes a subspecialty of medicine that focuses on the reproductive concerns of cancer patients, who may face infertility as a result of their treatment. As survival rates improve, there is an expectation by patients and health care professionals that efforts be made to preserve the reproductive health potential of patients who receive gonadotoxic treatment whenever possible.
We have established an oncofertility service which includes access to the ‘Fertility & Research Centre’ led by Prof William Ledger. This clinic is based at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Sydney and open from Monday to Saturday. This is the first dedicated oncofertility centre in Australia and is the only fertility centre to combine basic and clinical research with comprehensive fertility preservation, assisted reproduction treatment and psychosocial support in the public hospital setting.
The Fertility & Research Centre provides rapid access to oncofertility consultations and fertility preservation options for paediatric, adolescent and adult cancer patients. This multidisciplinary service provides a centre of clinical and research excellence which ensures that cancer patients in NSW benefit from oncofertility care, care coordination and practical and psychosocial oncofertility support at diagnosis and through treatment into survivorship. A NSW referral service for cancer patients or medical patients whose fertility or sexual health may be affected by medical or surgical treatment has been established (link referral form).
We have an innovative research program, which brings oncologists, fertility specialists and scientists together into one team. These include researchers in the Oocyte and Ovarian Biology Laboratories at The University of New South Wales led by Prof Robert Gilchrist, researchers in The Laboratory for Ageing Research at The University of New South Wales led by Dr Lindsay Wu and clinicians in both the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital and the Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Prince of Wales Hospital led by Dr. Anazodo. This collaboration has allowed us to develop a number of pre-clinical and clinical studies (link to research page) which cover different aspects of care (biological, medical and psychological) as well as allowing us to collaborate with national and international investigators.
We hope this service and collaboration will improve access to fertility knowledge consultation procedures and support as well as reducing the risk of future infertility and success of assisted reproduction treatment.