Due to the growing chances of recovery from cancer, the quality of life after a cytotoxic therapy is increasingly shifting into focus. One main concern in this respect is to preserve fertility in young men and women.
Thanks to progress in reproductive medicine, there is now a wide choice of fertility protection methods. However, previously, these methods were only offered in a few centres with great expertise, so that most patients had to do without them.
For this reason, the FertiPROTEKT network was founded in May 2006 at the initiative of the departments for gynecological endocrinology and reproductive medicine of the University Hospitals for Women of Heidelberg and Bonn. After being initially limited to German university centres, it now also includes centres outside academia and has been extended to and . Therefore, the homepage can also be accessed via the adresses www.fertiprotekt.de, www.fertiprotekt.ch, www.fertiprotekt.at and www.fertiprotekt.eu; www.fertiprotect.eu and www.fertiprotekt.com.
Since our knowlege about the damage caused by the various chemotherapies to the ovaries and testicles is limited and the fertility protection therapies need to be further optimised especially for women, intensive clinical and scientific studies are necessary. These can only be performed in a network such as FertiPROTEKT, so that we have many other important goals apart from caring for our patients, which is always the focus of our efforts.
Our main aims are:
- Every woman of reproductive age should be able to receive advice as to her fertility before and after cytotoxic therapy.
All effective fertility protection therapies should be offered nationwide in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
The therapies, some of which are still experimental, are to be further developed, optimised and applied in close cooperation with oncologists of all discplines.
The implementation of the therapies is to be reviewed and optimised with regard to their effectiveness and costs.
The toxicity of the current chemotherapies is to be evaluated using blood tests before and after the chemotherapy in order to use chemotherapy regimens which are less toxic to the gonads in the future.
The psychological stress caused or relieved by the advice on and implementation of fertility protection therapies is to be evaluated.
Since some of the fertility protection therapies have not been standardised but their effectiveness depends on optimal technique, all FertiPROTEKT centres (contacts) have undertaken to follow strict standards and quality controls and to participate in the scientific evaluation.