Variability in the practice of fertility preservation for patients with cancer

Kasey A. Reynolds, Natalia M. Grindler, Julie S. Rhee, Amber R. Cooper, Valerie S. Ratts, Kenneth R. Carson, Emily S. Jungheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Fertility is important to women and men with cancer. While options for fertility preservation (FP) are available, knowledge regarding the medical application of FP is lacking. Therefore we examined FP practices for cancer patients among reproductive endocrinologists (REs). A 36 item survey was sent to board-certified REs. 98%of respondents reported counseling women with cancer about FP options. Oocyte and embryo cryopreservation were universally offered by these providers, but variability was noted in reported management of these cases -particularly for women with breast cancer. 86%of the respondents reported using letrozole during controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) in patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer to minimize patient exposure to estrogen. 49%of respondents who reported using letrozole in COS for patients with ER+ breast cancer reported that they would also use letrozole in COS for women with ER negative breast cancer. Variability was also noted in the management of FP for men with cancer. 83%of participants reported counseling men about sperm banking with 22%recommending against banking for men previously exposed to chemotherapy. Overall, 79%of respondents reported knowledge of American Society for Clinical Oncology FP guidelines-knowledge that was associated with providers offering gonadal tissue cryopreservation (RR 1.82, 95%CI 1.14-2.90). These findings demonstrate that RE management of FP in cancer patients varies. Although some variability may be dictated by local resources, standardization of FP practices and communication with treating oncologists may help ensure consistent recommendations and outcomes for patients seeking FP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0127335
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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