Purpose: Fertility preservation for children and young adults with cancer is an important part of comprehensive patient care. In 2013, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released updated clinical practice guidelines addressing fertility preservation. This study aimed to evaluate if pediatric oncologists were performing fertility preservation counseling, if the new guidelines were being adopted, and how reproductive endocrinologists can educate this patient population and their providers. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed from May 26, 2014, to August 26, 2014. An online survey addressing fertility preservation practice patterns was created and provided to the members of the Children's Oncology Group (COG). Results: Thirty-five percent of the 234 respondents reported reading the new 2013 ASCO guidelines. Ninety-five percent of providers reported mentioning fertility preservation options prior to treatment, most commonly including referral to a reproductive endocrinologist (28%), and sperm banking (57%). The most commonly reported barrier to fertility preservation counseling was the cost of treatment. Conclusion: Fertility preservation counseling is being performed by pediatric oncology providers. Familiarity of the ASCO guidelines is limited, revealing that the established methods for fertility preservation in women - embryo and oocyte cryopreservation - may be offered less than experimental methods in this younger patient population. Such differences in apparent practice patterns highlight the need for more education for providers.
- fertility preservation
- provider counseling
- reproductive endocrinology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health