Oncofertility care for newly diagnosed girls with cancer in a national pediatric oncology setting, the first full year experience from the Princess Máxima Center, the PEARL study

M. E. Madeleine van der Perk*, Anne Lotte L.F. van der Kooi, Marianne D. van de Wetering, Irene M. IJgosse, Eline van Dulmen-Den Broeder, Simone L. Broer, Aart J. Klijn, A. Birgitta Versluys, Brigitte Arends, Ralph J.A. Oude Ophuis, Hanneke M. van Santen, Alida F.W. van der Steeg, Margreet A. Veening, Marry M. van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Annelies M.E. Bos

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background Childhood cancer patients often remain uninformed regarding their potential risk of gonadal damage. In our hospital we introduced a five step standard oncofertility care plan for all newly diagnosed female patients aiming to identify, inform and triage 100% of patients and counsel 100% of patients at high risk (HR) of gonadal damage. This observational retrospective study (PEARL study) evaluated the use of this standard oncofertility care plan in the first full year in a national cohort. Methods The steps consist of 1)timely (preferably before start of gonadotoxic treatment) identification of all new patients, 2)triage of gonadal damage risk using a standardized gonadal damage risk stratification tool, 3)informing all patients and families, 4)counseling of a selected subset of girls, and 5) fertility preservation including ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC) in HR patients using amended Edinburgh criteria. A survey of the medical records of all girls newly diagnosed with cancer the first year (1-1-2019 until 31-12-2019) was conducted. Results Of 261 girls, 228 (87.4%) were timely identified and triaged. Triage resulted in 151 (66%) low(LR), 32 (14%) intermediate(IR) and 45 (20%) high risk(HR) patients. Ninety-nine families were documented to be timely informed regarding gonadal damage risk. In total, 35 girls (5 LR, 5 IR, 25 HR) were counseled by an oncofertility expert. 16/25 HR patients underwent fertility preservation (1 ovariopexy + OTC, oocyte cryopreservation (1 with and 1 without OTC) and 13 OTC). Fertility preservation did not lead to complications or delay of cancer treatment in any patient. Conclusion We timely identified and triaged most girls (88%) with cancer with a high risk of gonadal damage to be counseled for fertility preservation. We aim to optimize the oncofertility care plan and the standardized gonadal damage risk stratification tool based on this experience and these may be of value to other pediatric oncology centers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0246344
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3 March 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 van der Perk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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