To help clinicians and patients search for fertility preservation services in their area, the nonprofit Alliance for Fertility Preservation recently launched an online tool called Fertility Scout™. Referrals can be submitted or appointments requested through a secure system.
To date, 305 United States fertility clinics, all members of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Medicine, have registered to participate in Fertility Scout, created in partnership with Remedy Health Media and underwritten by an unrestricted grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Joyce Reinecke, JD, executive director of the alliance, told Cancer Therapy Advisor that in agreeing to participate, clinics agreed to “assign a specific fertility preservation contact to handle these patients” and “respond to the referral/patient request within 24 hours.” Patients can call the clinic directly for telephone consultations.
Reinecke said one of the Alliance’s key initiatives for 2016 “is to work to broaden access to fertility preservation for cancer patients. Fertility Scout is one critical tool in automating the referral process so patients can more easily find and quickly get these services, but costs are extremely high, especially for women, and while there are some good financial assistance programs out there, insurance coverage is virtually nonexistent and is really the missing piece in making these services attainable for at-risk patients.”
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Three cancer centers are set to begin an 8-week pilot phase of Fertility Scout™ in late January, in which they will actively sign up providers such as oncologists, nurses, and oncology social workers to start using the tool so their experience in scheduling patients can be tracked.
“The goal is to get feedback and make any changes/adaptations that we need to before we more broadly promote the tool to the oncology community at the spring conferences,” Reinecke said.
Alliance for Fertility Preservation.
- Can help arrange telephone consultations for patients: [email protected]
- Fertility Scout™, http://www.fertilityscout.org
Oncofertility Consortium at Northwest University
- Patients can speak to a trained Fertility Navigator: 1-866-708-FE
American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
- ASCO’s Focus Under Forty Program includes 2 CME-accredited online modules that focus on fertility preservation, one for males and one for females. Fertility Preservation Issues (AYA Females): http://university.asco.org/fertility-preservation-issues-aya-females
- Loren AW, Mangu PB, Beck LN, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Fertility preservation for patients with cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical practice guideline update. J Clin Oncol. 2013;31(19):2500-2510.
- Lambertini M, Boni L, Michelotti A, et al. Ovarian suppression with triptorelin during adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy and long-term ovarian function, pregnancies, and disease-free survival: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2015;314(24):2632-2640.
- Moore HC, Unger JM, Phillips KA, et al, for the POEMS/S0230 Investigators. Goserelin for ovarian protection during breast-cancer adjuvant chemotherapy. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(10):923-932.
- Partridge AH. Prevention of premature menopause and preservation of fertility in young cancer survivors: Hopeful though modest long-term results. JAMA. 2015;314(24):2625-2627.