Resident Module – Fertility#1
Resident Module – Fertility#2a
Resident Module – Fertility#2b
Resident Module – Fertility#3
by Monisha Sudarshan, MD
As one walks into Dr.Holzer’s office, his passion and love for helping patients with fertility issues is clear. Among the many honors and thank you notes, sits a small decorative baby carriage with the words engraved “Doctors are known to heal, you are known to create miracles”. Dr. Holzer is the Medical Director of the MUHC (McGill University Health Centre) Reproductive Centre and one of the pioneers in oncofertility. In fertility management, he describes every couple as a “new story” however, oncofertility presents its own unique challenges and complexities for the patient and physician population. Dr.Holzer advises his patients that the first and foremost importance is to fight the cancer; fertility represents an important aspect but is not the primary priority. One of his goals is also to educate and bring awareness to cancer physicians and residents about the options of fertility preservation for the younger oncology population and is working on creating easy, timely access for referral of these patients to expert centers. Continuing his educational endeavour, he has designed expert teaching modules targeted for resident education in oncology and fertility and to spark interest in this interesting and rapidly growing field. Modules begin with basic physiological changes with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, progress to current options in fertility preservation and the experience at the McGill University Health Center. Continue to stay tuned for more knowledge on this important and stimulating topic within oncology.
A presentation given by Dr. Hananel Holzer regarding the McGill Reproductive Centre approach to fertility preservation. For more information, please contact:
Hananel Holzer M.D
Director, MUHC Reproductive Center
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Program Director, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship
Faculty of Medicine
687 Pine avenue West, Room F6.58
Montreal (Quebec) Canada H3A 1A1.
Tel: (514) 843 1650 Fax: (514) 843 1496
By: Dr. Hananel Holzer, attending physician, McGill Reproductive Centre
Malignant diseases are still common but thanks to the tremendous efforts made by researchers and physicians survival rates continue to rapidly increase. Recent estimates indicate that 1 in 250 people are a cancer survivor but treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery can be detrimental to the fertility of a cancer survivor. Modern treatment protocols take this into consideration by trying to protect the future fertility of a patient but many survivors continue to suffer from premature gonadal failure immediately after treatments or later on in life, at a faster rate than would be expected without such treatments.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) have made major advances in the last few decades. These developments provide oncology patients more options for preserving their fertility and fertility potential. Unfortunately information transmission is not ideal. Currently, the oncologists who represent first-line specialists in treating patients with fertility issues may not be aware of advancements in ART that can enable a patient to preserve his or her fertility potential.
The main objective of the Cancer Knowledge Network’s oncofertility section is to build a bridge between the oncology and ART disciplines, which itself has become a new sub-speciality known as “oncofertility”.
Several options exist today to assist in the preservation of fertility. These options should be tailored according to a patient’s:
- Type of disease;
- Spread of disease;
- Planned treatment;
- Time available; and
- Whether or not a female patient has a partner.
The CKN oncofertility section will discuss the principles of fertility preservation while providing up-to-date information in this ever-evolving field.
We are working in collaboration with the Oncofertility Consortium to showcase pertinent information available to specialists, residents and the other health care providers. We will strive to publish information in a format that appeals to cancer patients and their caregivers, such as:
- Flowcharts for managing patients undergoing fertility preservation;
- Studies/research from Canadian institutes that offer fertility preservation programs;
- An interactive information system that will contain current clinical resources in Canada and will facilitate communication between users and the CKN;
- A consultation module which would provide an immediate/close to real-time consultation service to physicians; and
- A resource of up-to-date information for oncologists who are at the forefront of fertility treatments for cancer patients.
Since oncofertility is rapidly-evolving discipline and field of medicine, the information required by specialists may not differ much from that aimed at by residents. For that reason, we may combine the information we make available to residents and medical professionals. We may develop learning primers for residents and oncologist unfamiliar with this sub-speciality.
The CKN oncofertility section will encourage relevant stakeholders in the Canadian medical community and elsewhere to publish their research in the Current Oncology journal. I expect that the bridges built through the section will be fruitful and result in collaborative research projects.