We undertake and sponsor multidisciplinary and collaborative research projects aimed at improving the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors. Our main area of interest is reproduction - it is well known that chemo- and radiotherapies adversely affect reproductive capabilities, our aim is to quantify and mitigate these effects.
We have shown that the Edinburgh selection criteria predict which young female patients with cancer are more likely to develop premature ovarian insufficiency and are therefore most likely to benefit from ovarian tissue cryopreservation. The procedure is invasive, requiring surgery, and the success rate in terms of future livebirths remains unknown. A minority of girls and young women with cancer are at high risk of premature ovarian insufficiency and, because this approach remains experimental, it is necessary to limit ovarian tissue cryopreservation to those patients at high risk of premature ovarian insufficiency. Future research should focus on the development of this new and experimental service for girls and young women with cancer who are at highest risk of premature ovarian insufficiency, but who have a realistic chance of survival. The full paper can be downloaded from The Lancet Oncology.