Fertility preservation for young cancer patients

  • Start Date: February 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm
  • End Date: February 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm
  • Event Link: http://www.srf-reproduction.org
  • Location: Lecture theatre A30, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Sutton Bonington
  • Ticket Price: 0.00

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The Society for Reproduction and Fertility present ‘Fertility preservation for young cancer patients’, delivered by Dr Teresa K Woodruff, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Chicago USA.

Free and open to all. Register online.

Oncofertility was just an idea 10 years ago. Today it is a distinct field of medicine, offering new hope to cancer patients who will survive their disease, with options for preserving their fertility that prior generations lacked. This is an amazing shift for medical practice, with reproductive specialists and oncologists working together to improve patient care. For the patients at institutions offering oncofertility options, the discussions taking place between these two very different disciplines have led to interventions – banking eggs, sperm, embryos, or tissue – with the goal of preserving the option for patients to have a future family. For some cancer survivors, that future is now, and they are the proud parent of a child they thought they might not be able to have.

From the bench, to the bedside, to babies – the mission of oncofertility – is now part of the normal lexicon of centers of excellence around the globe, where oncologists and reproductive specialists make fertility after cancer a priority at the time of diagnosis. The successes in patient care have been paralleled by the efforts of reproductive scientists who are making discoveries in gamete biology that can be rapidly translated to the clinic, and by social scientists who are delving into the complex social, ethical, and personal aspects of oncofertility to facilitate decision-making by patients and their caregivers. This dynamic area will be discussed in Dr. Teresa Woodruff’s Sex in 3 Cities lectures.

About the speaker
Dr Woodruff is the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Vice Chair of Research (OB/GYN), the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Science in Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University. She is an internationally recognized expert in ovarian biology and, in 2006, coined the term “oncofertility” to describe the merging of two fields: oncology and fertility. She now heads the Oncofertility Consortium, an interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientist experts from across the country. She founded and directs the Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA), one of several high school outreach programs that engages girls in basic and medical sciences, and developed the concept for a National Physicians Cooperative in Oncofertility (NPC) in order to link medical practices interested in fertility preservation protocols.

Dr Woodruff also serves as the founding director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, which has as its mission ‘science to care’ and ensuring that sex and gender are part of the research mission. Because of her work in inclusion, she was recently interviewed by Leslie Stahl and was highlighted on a 60 Minutes report and has written extensively on inclusion of sex and gender in science and medicine (PNAS, Nature). She was named to the Time Magazine 2013 list of the Worlds Most Influential People as the only scientist on the list and was voted 112th. Dr. Woodruff was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring in an oval office ceremony (2011) and her other awards include the Beacon Award from Frontiers in Reproduction (2013), the Women in Science Award from the Weitzman Institute (2012), and an Alumni Association Merit Award from Northwestern (2012).

In addition to her academic stewardship, she also served as the President of the Endocrine Society from 2013-2014. Dr Woodruff leads a large group of scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduates, visiting scholars and technicians who together make up the Woodruff Lab. Members of the lab are making important breakthroughs in follicle biology, oocyte quality and translating this work to patients.

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