May 30, 2019 Sandra 0Comment

A dedicated oncofertility session was held at the SASREG – ISGE and ESGE Congress 2019.


The International Society for Gynaecologic Endoscopy (ISGE) and the European Society of Gynaecological Endoscopists (ESGE) 2019 Congress was hosted by the South African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG) in Cape Town from 14 – 17 April.

The theme was Endoscopy in Africa and Beyond and presented a great opportunity for African and international endoscopists to share ideas, teach skills and improve knowledge in this field. 

One of the highlights of the congress was the oncofertility session. This is where the oncology and fertility fields meet; with specialist doctors bringing their respective skills to the forefront to give cancer patients, men and women alike, the chance to become parents.

Fertility intervention can improve compliance

Prof Teresa Woodruff, the chief of the Division of Fertility Preservation at the Feinberg School of Medicine, USA, who has claim for coining the term oncofertilty, gave two talks: From bench to bedside to babies: The Oncofertility Consortium experience and Clinical Perspectives on Oncofertility. 

She explained that fertility intervention can improve medication compliance by patients as many female cancer patients go on a ‘tamoxifen holiday’ to have children. She also talked about the great milestone her lab achieved by creating a bioprosthetic ovary using 3D printed microporous scaffolds which restored ovarian function in sterilised mice.

New device for ovarian tissue vitirification (freezing)

Prof Nao Suzuki, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Japan, presented his findings on Laparoscopic approach to ovarian tissue collection and re-transplantation. What are the indications and risks?

He spoke about a new closed-type device: CryoSheet which improves the cooling speed in the freezing of the ovarian tissue. The new device speeds the freezing up by making the distance between ovarian tissue and liquid nitrogen shorter. With the previous CryoSheet, the distance between ovarian tissue and liquid nitrogen is too wide; therefore, air freezing is slow.

Give hope but not false hope

Then Prof Michael Grynberg, an obstetrician gynaecologist specialising in reproductive medicine who works in the Division of Reproductive Medicine at the University Hôpital Antoine Béclère, France presented his results on Oocyte vs. ovarian tissue cryopreservation: Comparing efficacy and outcomes. 

He went on to say a total of 150 live-birth babies were born with the help of ovarian tissue transplantation. Though, it was emphasised when the oncology and fertility fields come together, oncology is the more important field meaning the cancer patient in priority. His closing remark will always remain essential, we are here to give hope but not false hope. 

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