The Fertility Preservation Unit at Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH) and Melbourne IVF (MIVF) has a long and proud history of providing fertility preservation (FP) services to their patients affected by cancer and other fertility threatening, medical conditions. They are thrilled to have an opportunity to expand their services, following receipt of a generous grant from the Sony Foundation.
Ovarian tissue cryopreservation and grafting is now acknowledged as an important and successful fertility preservation modality. It is no longer considered experimental by peak professional bodies. Often, it is the only option for young patients and those for whom gamete cryopreservation, such as mature eggs and sperm, is not possible. Testicular tissue from pre-pubertal boys is also likely to be a useful option. Currently many young people with cancer are not offered these fertility-saving options due to lack of local resources and expertise. Many oncology and haematology units nationwide welcome the opportunity to be able to offer this treatment to patients of reproductive age.
The Fertility Preservation Unit has now implemented a national tissue retrieval and transport program for children, adolescents and adults. Local gynaecologists/fertility specialists will undertake surgeries for ovarian tissue harvest and testicular tissue extraction. Subsequently, retrieval and transport to their national cryobank at the Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH), Melbourne will take place. Once the decision to graft the ovarian tissue is made, transport back to the local unit for grafting will be arranged. Alternatively, the patient can have the grafting procedure undertaken at the RWH, if preferred.
The unit also provides educational resources to assist with all aspects of fertility preservation, including:
a. Patient information and health provider educational materials, accessible both in hard copy and electronically
b. Access to telephone and/or Skype consultation service with health providers regarding patient queries
c. Referral pathways for patients to be managed by our service in Melbourne, if necessary
They are excited to have the opportunity to continue to develop this program, which will ultimately ensure more equitable provision of these vital fertility preservation services around Australia.
They are seeking our support to help us publicise the program and fertility preservation, to SIRT members, associated health professionals and the public. They welcome any suggestions about the most efficient ways to provide education, such as presentations at conferences, zoom, webinars and media opportunities.
The clinical and scientific team behind NOTTCS:
A/Prof Kate Stern, Head Fertility Preservation Service
Dr Genia Rozen, Deputy Head, Fertility Preservation Service
Dr Franca Agresta, Research Manager
Dr Debra Gook, Senior Scientist
Andrea Martin, Fertility Nurse Coordinator
Marcela Toro, Assistant Scientist
Follow this link to read more about the service: