Focus on Oncofertility

Research led by Teresa Woodruff, PhD, director of the Institute for Women’s Health Research at Northwestern University was featured in the first edition of  Horizons in Bioscience, a publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, that describes scientific discoveries on the brink of clinical application.   This publication is shared with members of Congress who track National Institute of Health funding.

In 2006, Dr. Woodruff coined the term ‘oncofertility’ to describe the merging of two fields: oncology and fertility. Advances in chemotherapy and radiation have increased survival in cancer patients but many of these life-saving treatments often result in the loss of fertility. Breakthroughs in ovarian tissue cryopreservation and in vitro follicle maturation are brightening the outlook for preserving fertility in young women with cancer and other diseases that are treated with potent therapies. Based on promising science being done in her lab, Woodruff was awarded a prestigious Roadmap Grant from the NIH to advance her work in 2007. She now heads a national Oncofertility Consortium, an interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientists, oncologists, pediatricians, engineers, and ethicists from universities across the country–bringing national experts together to accelerate the new field.

For more information about Dr. Woodruff and her work, visit the newly updated website of the Oncofertility Consortium.