Purpose: Several international organizations and guidelines have recommended implementation of structured fertility preservation (FP) discussions with patients and their families before initiation of chemotherapy and radiation treatments in children. This study aimed to identify current trends and rates in FP counseling and treatments at a Canadian pediatric tertiary care center. Objectives were to measure guideline adherence for FP counseling at our institution by determining (1) the frequency of FP counseling in pediatric female oncological patients at our institution, (2) the frequency of FP treatment in this study population, and (3) the factors associated with FP pre-treatment counseling.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed, including all pediatric and adolescent female patients (age <18) seen in consultation by the oncology team. Demographic data, as well as documentation of FP counseling and referral to a reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) specialist and subsequent FP treatment were collected.
Results: A total of 89 female pediatric patients were included in our study. Forty-two patients received fertility counseling (47.2%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 37.2–57.5). Only 29/42 (69.0%; 95% CI: 54–80.9) received counseling before onset of treatment. A 12/42 (41.4%; 95% CI: 25–59.3) of the patients who received FP counseling were referred to an REI specialist and 11/12 proceeded with FP treatment (37.9%, 95% CI: 22.7–56).
Conclusion: This study presents contemporary data on the rates of FP counseling in Canadian pediatric female oncological patients and demonstrates low rates of FP counseling in our patient population.
Investigaor, CHEO Research Institute