In recent years, cancer has been converted, in many cases, from a death sentence to a disease of many survivors. Aggressive cancer treatments take a significant toll on patient's quality of life. A recognized complication for women after chemotherapy or radiation is the toxicity to the ovaries, which results in the damage or loss of oocytes leading to impairment or loss of fertility. The purpose of the Oncofertility Consortium is to attack the fertility threat posed by cancer treatment by training a globally ready workforce with the expertise to manage the reproductive needs of the woman with cancer. The impact of such a program in the general field of Women's Health can be tremendous for generating a multidisciplinary force of doctors for coping with fertility concerns. The long-term success of the oncofertility discipline requires the well orchestrated and focused development of a physician-scientist global workforce, which will implement the research and clinical agenda and ultimately be the origin for the expansion and development of this new, interdisciplinary field of oncofertility. It is the intent of this T90/R90 proposal to train and educate the first generation of oncofertility specialists in research directly related to the reproductive needs of the cancer patient and survivor. Such education and training programs will provide the foundations for the further development of this discipline that is at the intersection of oncology, pediatrics, reproductive science and medicine, biomechanics, material science, mathematics, social science, bioethics, religion, policy research, reproductive health law and cognitive and learning science. Given the clinical and research training fellows receive, the executive committee of this training and educational program believes that the first generation of oncofertility specialists should be bred from within the ranks of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), which is one of four subspecialty fellowships for advanced training after completion of a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Formal certification for this advanced training in Reproductive Medicine is under the aegis of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc. (ABOG). Research is a central feature of fellowship programs and, therefore, the proposed oncofertility training program dovetails perfectly with the clinical and educational objectives in reproductive endocrinology. The proposed National and International Training Program in Oncofertility will be the ONLY federally supported mechanism for research training of fellows critical for entry into the pipeline of academic oncofertility specialists.
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