UL1: The Oncofertility Consortium
The purpose of this Interdisciplinary Research Consortium is to focus on the fertility threat posed by cancer treatment and to serve as an authoritative voice for research, clinical practice and training that occurs at the intersection of oncology, pediatrics, reproductive science and medicine, biomechanics, materials science, mathematics, social science, bioethics, religion, policy research, reproductive health law, cognitive and learning science in a new discipline called Oncofertility. We have assembled outstanding scientists, clinicians and scholars to address the following questions: How do we optimally store and recover gonadal tissue (R01A)? Can we promote primate-derived immature follicle growth and oocyte maturation in a three dimensional environment (R01B and R01C)? What is the specific fertility threat of the life-preserving cancer drugs (R01C, K01)? Can we cryopreserve and grow human ovarian follicles (R01A, R01C)? Can we predict how new cancer drugs will affect fertility (R01C)? What are the ethical and legal concerns surrounding the use of advanced reproductive technologies in cancer patients (R01D)? What is the cost/benefit analysis of fertility preservation (R01D)? How do families facing a child’s cancer diagnosis decide whether or not to participate in the ovarian cryopreservation work (R01D)? What role do healthcare practitioners and religious counsel play in the decision (R01D)? How do women with cancer share their concerns regarding infertility with their physician and how does their decision impact their lives and relationships after cancer (R01D)? What are the key concerns and treatment decisions that are made at diagnosis and how does gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic and family status factor into the equation (R01D)? Supporting these studies are a biomaterials core (P30A) and an ovarian tissue collection core (P30B). Supporting the learning and training programs of this grant are a R25 and a T90/R90. Collectively, this grant serves as a framework into which this exceptionally exciting, challenging and multifaceted new discipline of oncofertility can be fostered and can, in the end, create new knowledge about the process of ovarian follicle development and provide the medical solution to fertility preservation for women with a fertility-altering cancer diagnosis. In so doing, oncofertility medical specialists, oncofertility scientists, and oncofertility scholars will, for the first time, provide viable options to women with cancer and other fertility threatening diseases, learn more about the nature and mechanisms of follicle development, and better understand human relationships between health, disease, and interventions that can protect the options for future fertility.