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Fertility Preserving Management in Gynecologic Cancer Patients: The Need for Centralization
  1. Vesna Kesic, MD, PhD,
  2. Alexandros Rodolakis, MD, PhD,
  3. Dominik Denschlag, MD, PhD,
  4. Achim Schneider, MD, MPH,
  5. Philippe Morice, MD, PhD,
  6. Frederic Amant, MD, PhD and
  7. Nicholas Reed, MB, BS, MRCP (UK), FRCP, FRCP (Glas)
  1. ESGO Task Force for Fertility Preservation in Gynecologic Cancer, Geneva, Switzerland.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Vesna Kesic, PhD, Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Visegradska 26, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. E-mail: vek1{at}


Abstract Preservation of fertility has became a very important issue in gynecologic oncology. It is a result of both the increasing incidence of gynecologic cancer in young patients and the increasing age at first pregnancy. Today, in a young patient with a gynecologic cancer, preservation of fertility is possible and depends primarily on the extent and type of cancer.

The clinical importance of an appropriate management of young patients with gynecologic cancer has lead the ESGO Task Force for Fertility Preservation in Gynecologic Cancer to conduct a survey with the aim of exploring the numbers and eligibility of gynecologic cancer patients for fertility-sparing treatment in selected gynecologic oncology centers across Europe. A questionnaire designed to allow adequate insight into the number of patient eligible for fertility-sparing treatment and the resulting treatment was sent to 20 ESGO-accredited centers. The data were collected retrospectively for the year 2007. The reply was received from 14 gynecologic oncology centers, and those surveys were included for analysis.

The small numbers of patients eligible for conservative management (14-15 per year/median number in ESGO-accredited centers) and even the smaller number of those who actually receive fertility-sparing treatment (<10) raise the question of quality of care for these patients. These low numbers support the concept of centralization for fertility-sparing management to improve the quality of patients care. Since carrying out the survey on fertility-sparing management in ESGO-accredited gynecologic oncology centers in Europe, the ESGO Task Force for Fertility Preservation in Gynecologic Cancer has proposed a protocol for referrals to centralized units that have developed specific expertise.

Optimal management for young patients with gynecologic cancer should include a clear decision-making process, an adequate counseling about the future oncological and obstetrical risks, the appropriate management, and a careful follow-up within a multidisciplinary setting.

  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Fertility sparing
  • Centralization of the service

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