Purpose: Oncofertility focuses on providing fertility and endocrine-sparing options to patients who undergo life-preserving but gonadotoxic cancer treatment. The resources needed to meet patient demand often are fragmented along disciplinary lines. We quantify assets and gaps in oncofertility care on a global scale.
Methods: Survey-based questionnaires were provided to 191 members of the Oncofertility Consortium Global Partners Network, a National Institutes of Health-funded organization. Responses were analyzed to measure trends and regional subtleties about patient oncofertility experiences and to analyze barriers to care at sites that provide oncofertility services.
Results: Sixty-three responses were received (response rate, 25%), and 40 were analyzed from oncofertility centers in 28 countries. Thirty of 40 survey results (75%) showed that formal referral processes and psychological care are provided to patients at the majority of sites. Fourteen of 23 respondents (61%) stated that some fertility preservation services are not offered because of cultural and legal barriers. The growth of oncofertility and its capacity to improve the lives of cancer survivors around the globe relies on concentrated efforts to increase awareness, promote collaboration, share best practices, and advocate for research funding.
Conclusion: This survey reveals global and regional successes and challenges and provides insight into what is needed to advance the field and make the discussion of fertility preservation and endocrine health a standard component of the cancer treatment plan. As the field of oncofertility continues to develop around the globe, regular assessment of both international and regional barriers to quality care must continue to guide process improvements.
© 2020 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.