–Cryopreservation fertility treatment reassures women facing cancer treatment–
Austin, Texas – April 2, 2013 – A new delivery method for chemotherapy drugs shows promise in protecting a woman’s ovaries and oocytes (eggs) from the damaging side effects of cancer treatment. Nanoparticle arsenic-based drug treatment, designed by scientists at Northwestern Medicine®, works like a Trojan horse to attack cancer cells without destroying healthy tissues, organs and future fertility.
The lab-tested arsenic trioxide breakthrough will potentially help reduce “fertotoxicity,” but what about young men and women currently scheduled to begin cancer treatment?
Texas Fertility Center offers men and women the option of removing and storing sperm or eggs prior to scheduled chemotherapy and cancer treatment that can cause permanent sterility. Sperm preservation can be started the same day that a male patient contacts TFC requesting storage. Oocyte preservation involves a fast-track fertility treatment cycle of ovulation induction using fertility drugs, and an outpatient egg retrieval procedure. The entire process, from consultation to egg storage, can be performed in as few as 10 days, and need not interfere with cancer treatment schedules.
“We are closely watching this trioxide development, but will continue to focus on providing a safety net for concerned men and women currently starting chemotherapy”, says Dr. Thomas Vaughn, a Reproductive Endocrinologist with Texas Fertility Center. “When a couple calls us for help after a cancer diagnosis, we reassure them that sperm or egg freezing can offer them the chance to preserve their future fertility”.
Raising Awareness for Fertility Preservation
Texas Fertility Center spearheads two-pronged educational campaigns to raise awareness about fertility preservation and the benefits of focusing on oncofertility issues as soon as a cancer diagnosis has been made.
Oncologists, radiologists and cancer specialists: The message for oncologists revolves around scheduling fertility preservation in advance of, or even concurrently with, chemotherapy. Texas Fertility Center regularly holds educational programs for specialists serving on the front lines, providing information to share with their patients.
- Men and women diagnosed with cancer: Cryopreservation allows a fertility clinic to effectively freeze a woman’s eggs or ovarian tissue, or, a man’s sperm. Texas Fertility Center collateral materials, social media and website pages share a message of hope, and details on making a plan for preserving fertility.
“Oncologists devise and manage comprehensive treatment plans for newly diagnosed cancer patients,” says Dr. Vaughn. “Our goal is to ensure that fertility preservation is provided at the onset as an option for young men and women who want to start or add to their families after cancer.”
Advances in Egg Freezing
Until recently, egg freezing wasn’t a viable option for young women faced with a cancer diagnosis. Eggs, the body’s largest cell, are comprised mainly of water, and historically did not freeze or thaw well. Vitrification, or rapid freezing, eliminates the problem of ice crystals forming during the process.
Today, the first babies born from frozen eggs are celebrating their second birthdays. In fact, Texas Fertility Center reported one of the first live births from a frozen egg in Texas in 2011.
“Fertility preservation, as well as promising new breakthroughs in cancer treatment, allows young men and women to focus on getting well, without surrendering their dreams of eventually becoming parents,” adds Dr. Vaughn.
About Texas Fertility Center
Texas Fertility Center (TFC), one of the nation’s leading full-service infertility practices, provides advanced Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology services to patients throughout Texas, the Southwestern United States, and the Americas. Since 1980, TFC has been recognized nationally for outstanding pregnancy rates, cutting-edge laboratory procedures, and innovative research programs. For more information, please visit www.txfertility.com.