Penn Fertility Care

Cancer and Fertility

Fertility–preservation research: the Oncofertility Consortium

To explore the reproductive future of patients facing life-preserving but fertility-threatening cancer treatments, Penn Fertility Care specialists and Penn researchers have teamed up with Northwestern University and three other centers to form The Roadmap Interdisciplinary Oncofertility Consortium. The consortium's goal is to provide viable reproductive options for women with cancer and other fertility-threatening diseases.

Specifically, researchers within the consortium are working to develop new techniques for the long-term preservation of human ovarian tissue and a method to regulate oocyte (egg) development in vitro (outside the body). The cryopreserved ovarian tissue or oocytes would then be used to initiate pregnancies after cancer treatment.

The consortium brings together professionals from various specialties, including:

  • Reproductive medicine
  • Oncology
  • Reproductive health research
  • Biomechanics
  • Materials science
  • Social science bioethics
  • Religion
  • Policy research
  • Educational sciences

Research in oocyte development requires ovarian tissue. Penn’s Reproductive Research Unit seeks women who are interested in pursuing an option to preserve their fertility, while simultaneously furthering reproductive research, by participating in a clinical trial. For a full list of oncofertility clinical trials, please click here.

For more about the Oncofertility Consortium or information on participating in an oncofertility clinical trial, please call 800-789-PENN.