New Frontiers in Fertility Preservation Research: Considering the Broader Impact

October 22, 2015


Fertility and Infertility (FI) Branch and the Population Dynamics Branch, Division of Extramural Research (DER), NICHD; American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)


Hilton Baltimore Hotel, 401 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland


Physicians have been cryopreserving sperm from male cancer patients for several decades for preservation of fertility. More recently, the development of techniques for cryopreserving ovarian tissue and oocytes has provided new options for female cancer patients to consider fertility preservation. Despite publication in 2006 of the American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines pertaining to fertility preservation methods and related issues in cancer patients, the degree to which oncologists and other practicing physicians adhere to the recommendations is unclear.

New therapeutic approaches now permit non-cancer patients to consider means to preserve and extend fertility. Gap analysis data collected from participants in ASRM educational activities in 2012 and 2013 indicate that reproductive medicine specialists remain unaware of scientific advances and therapeutic options for male and female patients to preserve their fertility. Awareness in the lay community is improving due to the efforts of patient advocacy groups so that referrals to reproductive specialists for fertility preservation in cancer and non-cancer patients are increasing. There clearly is a need for further research and education in the biological, medical, social, and ethical aspects of fertility preservation.

This workshop is aimed at basic and clinical researchers in reproductive biology and medicine as well as at health care providers whose practices include patients considering fertility preservation options. Speakers will present current molecular, cellular, and medical evidence to help participants integrate the latest technology and information into their clinical practices and provide guidance in managing this complicated patient population. Topics discussed will include recent advances in gamete and gonadal tissue cryopreservation, the ethical and social challenges in counseling patients about fertility preservation, and the promising areas of future research.

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • List currently available fertility preservation options, including outcomes and applications.
  • Discuss the social, behavioral, and ethical dimensions of fertility preservation.
  • Identify the gaps in knowledge and competence in the clinical preservation of fertility in different types of patients.
  • Recommend specific research goals to advance the patient-sensitive development and implementation of methods to preserve and enhance fertility.
  • Devise novel research strategies to address scientific gaps in social, ethical, biological, and clinical aspects of fertility preservation.

This conference will take place during the ASRM Annual Meeting. For more information, including agenda and registration information, visit External Web Site Policy.


Dr. Charisee Lamar, FI Branch, DER, NICHD
Phone: 301-435-6977

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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