Cancer Control Research5PL1CA133835-02
Chang, R. Jeffrey
NATL PHYS COOP TO PRESERVE FERTILITY FOR FEMALE CANCER PATIENTS
Although malignancy remains a critical health concern, significant medical advances in cancer detection and treatment have improved the survival rates for patients. As patients live longer, the consequences of cancer management have assumed greater importance. Traditionally, cancer patients have been faced with great uncertainty and have had few choices for fertility preservation. However, recent scientific advances employing a three-dimensional scaffold system usingx alginate for the in vitro maturation of ovarian follicles reveals promising new technologies for clinical applications. The mission of the National Physicians Cooperative (NPC) Tissue Core is to collect and distribute human ovarian tissue containing follicles to the basic science components of the Oncofertility Consortium. By doing so, we will catalyze the translation of the basic science knowledge gained in project RO1C and the Biomaterial Core (P30A) to women with a cancer diagnosis. The NPC is comprised of five Core institutions and fifteen Allied centers across the country. The elements of this program include patient screening and selection, collection of clinical and laboratory data, standardization of operative techniques for oophorectomy, post-surgical handling of tissues, tracking and storage of ovarian specimens, and a process of tissue distribution to participating sites. Furthermore, the Core will work closely with the social science section (RO1D) to address the ethical, legal, economic, and social considerations that will emerge from the new discipline of Oncofertility. The primary goals of this proposal are (1) to collect adult human ovaries from women with cancer and distribute them for basic science research; (2) to educate providers, patients, and the community through the Allied centers about fertility options for women with cancer; and (3) to disseminate the technical knowledge of follicle maturation and cryopreservation to the Allied centers. The collective goal is to ultimately provide new options for fertility preservation. The NPC will provide the vehicle through which breakthroughs in basic reproductive physiology will be translated to clinical medicine and, ideally, overcome the infertility and subfertility faced by many women undergoing cancer treatment. Restoration of fertility and other ovarian functions would substantially improve the quality of life for these women.