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Don't just save her life, save her fertility
Date:9/6/2007

CHICAGO --- Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has been awarded a $21 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a landmark national research, clinical and education program that targets fertility threats posed to women by cancer treatment.

When a woman is diagnosed with cancer, her treatment has a laser-like focus to save her life. But the powerful chemotherapy and radiation that cures cancer or sends it into remission can destroy a woman's ability to conceive children. The goal of the new program is to significantly alter how the medical world cares for female cancer patients and promote a new consciousness to protect their reproductive health.

The program, called The Oncofertility Consortium, is headed by leading fertility researcher Teresa Woodruff, Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and chief of the Feinberg School's newly created fertility preservation division. She coined the term oncofertility to define the pioneering new discipline in which cancer treatment and fertility health intersect.

"We're trying to create a total shift in how we interact with female cancer patients to anticipate their lives as survivors and their ability to bear children," said Woodruff, who is the architect of the new consortium and former associate director for basic sciences at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The Oncofertility Consortium is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientists, oncologists, pediatricians, engineers, educators, social workers and medical ethicists from Northwestern and the University of California-San Diego, University of Pennsylvania, University of Missouri-Columbia and Oregon Health & Science University. Its research will include a thorough examination of the scientific, medical, psychological, legal and ethical issues surrounding infertility and cancer.

Consortium members wil
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Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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