A Comparative Study of Fertility Preservation in Paediatric Oncology

With rising survival rates of childhood cancers, physicians now have to increasingly address quality of life issues for their patients. A main concern related to quality of life for childhood cancer survivors is the possible negative effects that cancer therapies can have on their reproductive health. To secure these patients’ option to have biological children, techniques of fertility preservation are employed, some of which are established practice and others only experimental. To date, very little is known about adolescents’ decision making with regard to these fertility preservation options. Thus, the aim of this project is to study how decisions are made regarding fertility preservation in paediatric oncology. The proposed research uses quantitative and qualitative methods. First, quantitative surveying of pediatric oncologists in Switzerland, Israel, and the United States will take place. The survey will help us understand their attitudes and practices towards fertility preservation for their adolescent patients. Second, adolescent cancer survivors (12 -17 years) and their parents from Israel and the United States will be interviewed regarding the decisions they have made concerning fertility preservation. This comparative study allows us to investigate whether culture influences these decisions. The findings of this study can assist with developing culturally sensitive guidelines for discussions and counseling of fertility preservation for individuals of or prior to reproductive age.

Project start:

01.07.2013-31.08.2016

Researcher

Dorit Barlevy

PhD-Committee of Dorit Barlevy

Prof. Vardit Ravitsky (thesis supervisor) Bioethics Programs at the Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal and Director of the Ethics and Health axis of the Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal (CRÉUM) (Montreal, Canada)

Prof. Dr Bernice Simone Elger (faculty representative) Head of the Institute for Bio- and Medical Ethics, University of Basel

Dr Tenzin Wangmo (co-advisor) Institute for Bio- and Medical Ethics, University of Basel

Prof. Dr Thomas Kühne (co-advisor) University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB)

Dr Adam Levy (co-advisor) Director, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, NY, USA)

Prof. Isaac Yaniv (co-advisor) Director, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel  (Jerusalem, Israel)

Funding by

Botnar Foundation