You Deserve to Preserve: A Proposal to Offer Fertility Preservation to All Eligible Pediatric Oncology Patients (221)

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Friday, September 16
Fertility preservation, the opportunity to preserve one’s ability to have genetically-related children prior to damaging or destroying the reproductive system, is a young but rapidly expanding field. Historically, fertility preservation has only been available to postpubertal male and female cancer patients via oocyte, embryo, and sperm cryopreservation.
Recent advances allow prepubertal patients who are diagnosed with cancer and meet eligibility criteria to preserve their fertility via tissue cryopreservation (Vindrola-Padros et al, 2017; Nahata et al., 2020). As the majority of pediatric oncology patients survive their disease, generating a population of over 500,000 survivors in the United States, it is imperative to prevent and intervene early when possible to minimize the lifelong consequences of treatment (Hoyos-Martinez et al., 2021; Meacham et al., 2020a). In 2020, Cook Children’s Medical Center (Fort Worth, TX) decided to expand its fertility preservation offerings to prepubertal patients after a decade of limiting services to the postpubertal patient population. The treatment plans for prepubertal patients are evaluated and those at significantly high risk for infertility are offered an educational fertility preservation consultation to learn about preservation methods. Cases for patients of all ages will be presented and discussed to exemplify the care provided thus far. This presentation will provide a thorough review of program’s expansion to increase the offerings, including clinical operations processes, policy and procedure updates, and the development of patient and staff education. As one of the only programs in the country to offer tissue cryopreservation, this content will be beneficial to nurses and advance practice nurses interested in learning more about treatment’s impact to fertility and those aiming to grow their preservation programs. Fertility legislation and programmatic funding will also be briefly discussed.