Predicting Late-Effects in Cancer Treatments

Chemo- and radiotherapies are sometimes very effective treatments for cancer. However, chemotherapy drugs are usually pretty indiscriminate in their work, killing not just the rapidly dividing cells of the cancer, but also other rapidly dividing cells and as such are dangerous to pregnancy.

Cryogenic freezing of ovarian tissue to preserve it for use after treatment is one method of preventing infertility. Image: Wiki
Cryogenic freezing of ovarian tissue to preserve it for use after treatment is one method of preventing infertility. Image: Wiki

There is also the risk of developing infertility after treatment has ceased though, due to damage done by the drugs to eggs. Likewise, radiotherapy is also effective at removing harmful cancerous tissue, but it is incredibly hard to target the cancer cells and not damage the surrounding tissue of the ovaries/testes if that is where the cancer is positioned. The field of Oncofertility is a growing area of research centred around preserving fertility in post-treatment cancer survivors.

In HIG our aim is to produce advanced models that allow the prediction and qualification of these adverse sequelae, thereby aiding clinical teams in their search for treatments that cure cancers with minimal adverse late-effects. Thus, we hope to reduce the number of cancer survivors that have impaired fertility due to the use of chemo- and radiotherapy in their treatment.




Recent Publications

Howie, R, Duffin, K, Kelsey, T, Wallace, WHB & Anderson, RA 2021, ‘Long-term follow up of the reproductive outcomes of young women and girls with cancer‘, Fertility 2021, 6/01/21 – 10/01/21 pp. P058. <>

Phylactou, M, Clarke, SA, Patel, B, Baggaley, C, Jayasena, CN, Kelsey, T, Comninos, AN, Dhillo, WS & Abbara, A 2021, ‘Clinical and biochemical discriminants between Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhoea (FHA) and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)‘, Clinical Endocrinology, vol. Early View.

Kelsey, T, Hua, C-H & Wallace, WHB 2021, The effect of radiotherapy on the human reproductive system. in J Donnez & SS Kim (eds), Fertility Preservation: Principles and Practice. 2 edn, Cambridge University Press, pp. 18-24.

Mamsen, LS, Charkiewicz, K, Anderson, RA, Telfer, EE, McLaughlin, M, Kelsey, TW, Kristensen, SG, Gook, DA, Ernst, E & Andersen, CY 2019, ‘Characterization of follicles in girls and young women with Turner syndrome who underwent ovarian tissue cryopreservation‘, Fertility and Sterility, vol. 111, no. 6, pp. 1217-1225.e3.

Abbara, A, Patel, AH, Hunjan, T, Clarke, S, Chia, G, Eng, PC, Phylactou, M, Comninos, A, Lavery, S, Trew, G, Salim, R, Rai, R, Kelsey, TW & Dhillo, W 2019, ‘FSH requirements for follicle growth during controlled ovarian stimulation‘, Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol. 10, 579.

van der Kooi, AL, Kelsey, TW, van den Heuvel-Eibrink, M, Laven, JSE, Wallace, WHB & Anderson, RA 2019, ‘Perinatal complications in female survivors of cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis‘, European Journal of Cancer, vol. 111, pp. 126-137.