MENU
Welcome Taskforce Mission Program Speakers Registration Conference Venue Map & Transportation Contact Us

Speakers

Professor Jim Bishop, Executive Director, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Bio: Professor Jim Bishop AO was appointed inaugural Executive Director of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in 2011. He also holds the academic position of Herman Chair of Cancer Medicine, University of Melbourne. Previous to his current role, Professor Bishop was the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government, advising the Minister and the Department of Health on health policy. Prior to this he was founding Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Institute New South Wales and founding Chief Cancer Officer for New South Wales. Other positions held in NSW include Deputy Director General, Director of Population Health, Chief Health Officer (NSW Health Department), Director of Cancer Services (Central Sydney Area Health Service) and founding Director of the Sydney Cancer Centre (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney).

Professor Jim Bishop will open the conference.

Dr Peter Downie, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne and The Children's Cancer Centre, Monash Health, Clayton

Bio: After an internship in general medicine at Prince Henry's hospital, Dr. Peter Downie commenced training in general paediatrics at the Royal Children's Hospital in the early 1980's. He was appointed Chief Resident in 1988, and then Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Haematology-Oncology from 1989-1991. His research was specifically looking at the effects of chemotherapy on fertility in pre-pubertal boys. He took a consultant position in general paediatrics and paediatric haemtology-oncology at Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham before being accepted as Research Fellow in the Pediatric Oncology unit, Wyler Children's Hospital, University of Chicago, where he spent two years studying the biology and molecular signalling involved in childhood leukaemias. On return to Melbourne at the end of 1993, he joined the staff of the oncology unit at the Royal Children's Hospital and took the position as Director of Clinical Oncology from 2008 until 2011. He has previously held the positions of Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Children's Oncology Group and the Medical Director of the Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service. Peter Downie is currently a Consultant Oncologist at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and Senior Lecturer, Department of Paediatrics, Monash University. He is also head of Unit, Paediatric Haematology-Oncology and Director of the Children's Cancer Centre at Monash Children's, Monash Health, Clayton.

Title: How big is the problem - are children at risk?

Presentation: This lecture will describe the scope of the risk to fertility from chemotherapy in the paediatric setting, including a summary of what chemotherapies are gonadotoxic and how fertility risk is ascertained.

Dr Matthew Ku, Austin Health

Bio: Dr Ku is currently the Lymphoma/CLL/myeloma Clinical Research Fellow at the Austin Hospital, with experience in managing complex patients that are on novel therapies ranging from small molecule inhibitors to monoclonal antibodies. He is also actively involved in the care of haematology patients that are treated off study. Furthermore, he has attained a Specialist Certificate in Clinical Research (Oncology) through the University of Melbourne. Dr Ku is a clinical and laboratory haematologist actively involved in clinical practice, currently working at St Vincent’s Private, Ballarat Hospital, Knox Private, and Ringwood Private.

He has recently submitted his PhD thesis, which investigated novel oncogenic mechanisms in deletion 20q acute myeloid leukaemia. His PhD was conducted at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne under supervisors Professor Harshal Nandurkar and Associate Professor Lynda Campbell. He was admitted as a Fellow by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia in 2012.

Dr Ku’s career goal is to be involved in clinical and translational research in malignant haematology, in collaboration with fellow colleagues in a major tertiary institution. Through evidence based medicine, he would like to provide "gold standard" care to all patients.

Title: How big is the problem - are adults at risk?

Presentation: Dr Matthew Ku will present on the risk to fertility from chemotherapy for haematological malignancies in the adult setting, including a summary of what chemotherapies are gonadotoxic and how fertility risk is ascertained.

Associate Professor Orla McNally, The Royal Women’s Hospital

Bio: Associate Professor Orla McNally graduated from University College Cork in 1990. After obtaining a fellowship in general surgery she completed training in obstetrics and gynaecology and spent some time in laboratory research at the University of Dundee studying p53 mutations and their effect on chemoresistance of cancer cells. From 2003 to 2009 she led the development of a gynaecological cancer unit in Taunton, Somerset. In 2009 she moved to Melbourne as Director of the Gynaecology Oncology and Dysplasia Unit where  Associate Professor  McNally’s main interest is multidisciplinary care and particularly maintaining holistic care. She continues to support and encourage research and clinical trial activity.

Title: How big is the problem – Solid Tumours

Presentation: This lecture will describe the scope of the risk to fertility from chemotherapy in the adult setting, including a summary of what chemotherapies are gonadotoxic and how fertility risk is ascertained.

Associate Professor Kate Stern, The Royal Women's Hospital and Melbourne IVF

Bio: Kate Stern is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Melbourne, Royal Women's Hospital. Kate is the Head of the Endocrine and Metabolic Service at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne and Head of Clinical Research at Melbourne IVF. She is a fertility specialist, gynaecologist and reproductive endocrinologist.

Kate established and coordinates the Fertility Preservation Service at MIVF and RWH. She set up the Fertility Society of Australia Special Interest Group for medical fertility preservation and also led the COSA group which created the web-based National Fertility Preservation Guidance which gives health providers and patients access to information and resources regarding fertility preservation.

Title: What's available - Fertility Preservation Options

Presentation: Several fertility preservation options are available for cancer survivors that can be implemented, ideally before initiation of cancer therapy, but also following remission or cure. Some options are simple and with validated methodologies; others require refinement and safety considerations as novel methodologies further emerge. A/Professor Stern will present on how assisted reproductive technologies have provided the arena for the development of fertility preservation options and strategies for patients faced with a cancer diagnosis.

Dr Genia Rozen, Melbourne IVF, Royal Women's Hospital, University of Melbourne

Bio: Genia Rozen is a fertility specialist with a passionate interest in fertility preservation. She trained as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, completing a 2 year clinical fellowship in Reproductive Medicine and a Masters of Reproductive Medicine during her specialist training. She is currently doing a PhD at Melbourne University, exploring the effects of radiation on the uterus.

Title: Effects of Pelvic Radiation and TBI on Uterine Function

Presentation: Pelvic radiation or TBI may damage the uterus, rendering it unable to accommodate the growth of a fetus. While in those women treated with high doses of radiation significant uterine impairment is likely and pregnancy should be avoided, there is currently insufficient evidence to guide the management of those exposed to intermediate doses or partial uterine radiation. This group are increasingly freezing their eggs/embryos/ovarian tissue prior to cancer treatment, and pose a clinical challenge when they return to use their gametes. With regard to radiation effects on the uterus, this talk will focus on: What's known, What's missing and Ways to address the gap in knowledge, including our new Victorian Registry.

Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe, Royal Children's Hospital, Royal Women's Hospital, University of Melbourne

Bio: Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe (MBBS (Qld), FRANZCOG, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, and a Paediatric & Adolescent Gynaecologist at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Visiting gynaecologist at Reproductive services, Dysplasia unit, Royal Women's Hospital. She plays an active role in clinical and research collaborations which enhance young women's health care, including fertility preservation in Paediatric and adolescent patients undergoing cancer treatment. She is privileged to engage with young women and their families about their unique health needs during the continuum from childhood to adulthood.

Title: Fertility Preservation at The Royal Children's Hospital: Past, Present & Future

Presentation: The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne developed a multidisciplinary collaborative Paediatric Adolescent and Young Adult Fertility Preservation Taskforce in conjunction with the Royal Women's Hospital in 2012. This talk will discuss what impact the fertility preservation program has had on clinical care and the ongoing challenges the program needs to addressinto the future.

Professor Margaret Zacharin, The Royal Children's Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Hospital

Bio: Professor Margaret Zacharin is a paediatric and adult endocrinologist with appointments at The Royal Children's Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Hospital. Her research interests include disorders of growth and puberty, bone health, hypogonadism, hormone replacement treatment and long term effects of childhood cancer. Current research grants of over $2,000,000, include trials of bisphosphonate use in bone disorders, establishment of hormonal reference ranges in preterm infants and audit of bone marrow transplant recipients.

A major interest is in endocrine education and provision of essential medicines for non-communicable disease in developing countries and limited resource settings, with family information booklets on long term effects of paediatric cancer, endocrine disorders, bone health and HRT in children with disabilities.

Title: Fertility Preservation in boys - Options & challenges

Presentation: Treatment regimens for childhood cancer or other conditions requiring bone marrow transplant reduce the spermatogonial stem cell pool with likely future sterility. Cryopreservation of sperm can preserve fertility prior to gonadotoxic treatments but this option is not available for prepubertal boys. Cryopreservation of testicular tissue via biopsy, to salvage spermatogonial cell lines in animal models has been successful. To date human evidence is lacking. We offer testicular biopsy prior to gonadotoxic treatments, for prepubertal children or older boys unable to produce semen. Other techniques include hastening progress through puberty to achieve early fertility.

Dr Debra Gook, The Royal Women's Hospital and Melbourne IVF

Bio: Dr Debra Gook is Senior Research Fellow in Reproductive Services at the Royal Women's Hospital and Melbourne IVF, and holds an honorary position within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Australia. For two decades, she has been at the forefront of research into the cryopreservation of the human female gamete. She has presented and published widely on freezing of both mature human oocytes and human ovarian tissue and continues to play a key role in the development of this technology for clinical application.

Title: What happens to my tissue - Ovarian tissue

Presentation: The cryopreservation (freezing) of ovarian tissue holds huge potential for future fertility in women with cancer. The ovary is populated at birth with around 2 million follicles (containing the egg) which decrease in numbers throughout the women reproductive life. Both egg and ovarian tissue freezing are offered but for young women ovarian tissue is the only option to preserve their fertility before cytotoxic cancer therapy. The successful freezing of these follicles has been established with over 60 babies born from this technology world -wide following grafting of the ovarian tissue.

Harold Bourne, The Royal Women's Hospital and Melbourne IVF

Bio: Harold commenced work in embryology during the developmental years of clinical IVF in the 1980's. He assisted in pioneering work in the area of micro manipulation techniques for the injection of sperm into eggs and methods for testicular sperm recovery and use.

He is currently Laboratory Manager for Reproductive Services / Melbourne IVF at the Royal Women's Hospital. Harold has an ongoing interest in the laboratory aspects of male infertility treatment including fertility preservation procedures for young boys and sperm retrieval in cases of limited spermatogenesis.

Title: What happens to my tissue - Testicular tissue

Presentation: Fertility preservation in adults is, in most cases, easily achieved through semen cryopreservation. However, this option is either difficult or not feasible in peri or pre-pubertal boys. In these cases, a sample of testicular tissue can be taken concurrent with another surgical procedure. The tissue is cut into small slices and cryopreserved using slow freezing procedures. For older boys, where spermatogenesis is considered feasible, some of the tissue is examined to look for mature sperm and, if found, the sample is cryopreserved as for adult tissue. This presentation discusses the procedures and findings from the clinical cases of young boys undergoing fertility preservation.

Associate Professor Gary Clarke, Royal Women's Hospital

Bio: Gary established the Sperm Bank at The Royal Women's Hospital in 1976 and has published many research articles and book chapters in the international scientific literature. His research contributions were recognised in 2005 by the awarding of Doctor of Science by The University of Melbourne. Gary is the Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Science of The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FFSc, RCPA).

Title: What happens to my tissue - Sperm

Presentation: Gary will present an overview of fertility preservation in males and a detailed description of how patients' samples are processed in his laboratory in order to preserve their option of having children in the future.

Professor Lynn Gillam, Royal Children's Hospital and University of Melbourne

Bio: Lynn Gillam is Professor in Health Ethics in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, and Academic Director of the Children's Bioethics Centre at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. Lynn is also Chair of the University of Melbourne Central Human Research Ethics Committee, which is an oversight and policy-making body, having been a member of various HRECs continuously since the early 1990s. Her research interests focus on human research ethics, and paediatric clinical ethics, and she has published widely in these fields. Lynn has been working in a clinical ethics role at RCH Melbourne for the past 10 years, and has participated in over 200 clinical ethics case consultations.

Title: Sarah Drew Plenary Lecture - The Clinical Ethics Framework for Fertility Preservation

Presentation: Fertility preservation in the paediatric adolescent and young adult (AYA) setting is ethically complex. What are the key ethical foundations for practice? When should a clinical ethics response group be involved? This lecture will answer these questions.

Dr Joseph Sgroi, Melbourne IVF

Bio: Joseph is a fertility specialist providing care to patients in the areas of IVF, male and female infertility, PCOS, endometriosis, fertility preservation, gynaecology and obstetrics. Graduating from Monash University in 1998, Joseph then completed three years of physician training at The Alfred Hospital.

Joseph shows great commitment to improving patient outcomes both clinically and by influencing government policy. Joseph has served as Director of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Chair of the Federal AMA Council for Specialists in Training and is a medical representative on multiple Government Committees. Recently appointed to The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Federal Council, Joseph influences women's health policy through his role on the RANZCOG Women's Health Policy Committee. Joseph continues to mentor in his role as Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at The Royal Women's Hospital and the University of Melbourne and has a strong commitment to research, aimed at ensuring evidence-based practice.

Title: Equity of access

Presentation: The overall aim in developing an access and equity policy is about understanding the target group and the services organisations offer and provides, as well as being realistic. 'Access and Equity' strategies, in particular for oncology patients seeking fertility preservation, are aimed to ensure that provision of service and resources are duly considered for these patients. Currently there is an unmet need to ensure policies which benchmark service provision for fertility preservation strategies are developed. Although policy direction does not replace existing state and territories' individual policies and legislation's, the aim is to promote a nationally consistent approach to patient care in this arena.

Professor Jane Fisher, Monash University

Bio: Jane Fisher is Professor of Women's Health and the Director of the Jean Hailes Research Unit in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. She is an academic Clinical and Health Psychologist with longstanding interests in public health perspectives on the links between reproductive health and mental health from adolescence to mid-life, in particular related to fertility, conception, pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. She practiced with the multidisciplinary clinical team at the Breast Unit @ Mercy Private from 1998 - 2011.

Title: Supportive Care Needs of Young Women & Men Seeking Fertility Preservation

Presentation: People who experience cancer while of reproductive age may not yet be partnered, have had a child or have completed their families. Cancer and reproductive health present inter-linked challenges, including about fertility preservation, which can continue after the cessation of active treatment. All people affected by this experience need supportive health care in which cancer, its treatment, and implications for life meaning, including fertility can be considered together in the immediate and longer term. Few clinicians feel equipped to provide this comprehensive care, but accounts and reflections contributed in in-depth interviews by people who have had this experience provide guidance.

Dr Michelle Peate, University of Melbourne

Bio: Dr Michelle Peate is an NBCF Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne. She has a particular interest in the psychosocial aspects of infertility and reproductive decision-making in the context of cancer. She has a long standing commitment and particular expertise in the development and implementation of of patient resources. Her current projects include developing a decision aid for women with breast cancer with low-health literacy, the development of a fertility calculator for young women with breast cancer and the development of a decision aid for parents of children with cancer.

Title: Regret, satisfaction and acceptance around fertility preservation decisions

Presentation: The idea that we can have a child when we choose to is an important part of human identity, and having this taken away from us can be really upsetting. Unfortunately, treatments for cancer may mean many young people are sacrificing chances for future children. Fertility preservation offers hope. The regret, satisfaction and acceptance of infertility and fertility preservation has been well explored in young adults but is not well explored in paediatric patients and their parents. This presentation will report on the impact of fertility preservation decision-making, with a particular focus on the paediatric population.

Dr Paddy Moore, Royal Women's Hospital and Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne

Bio: Dr Paddy Moore is a gynaecologist with a long term interest in young women's sexual and reproductive health. She is Head of Abortion and family planning services at the Royal Women's Hospital, Austin Health and a gynaecologist at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

Title: Panel discussion - Is fertility preservation right for me?

Presentation:
Dr Paddy Moore will chair a panel discussion where several ethically complex cases will be discussed.

Kate Thomson, ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service

Bio: Kate is the Program Manager of the ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service and the Victorian & Tasmanian Youth Cancer Service. A social worker by training, she has specialised in the area of oncology for the past 16 years and in the field of AYA oncology since 2004. Kate's clinical and research interests lie at the interface of adolescent & young adult cancer care, young people's development and their interaction with the healthcare system. She is currently involved in a number of local and national research projects focused on addressing the major health concerns and outcomes for young people diagnosed with cancer. Kate also plays a leadership role in AYA oncology within Victoria and nationally; sitting on various government, community and research committees. She is currently undertaking her PhD through the University of Melbourne.

Title: "Sex, school, friends - Social issues for young people"

Presentation: Young people with cancer are a unique population that face significant physical and psychosocial impacts as the result of a diagnosis during the most complex developmental life-stage. They are often isolated within a health system which is traditionally dichotomised into adult and paediatric care; face a unique spectrum of disease and; are dually expected to manage the significant developmental milestones associated with the transition to adulthood, including evolving relationships, developing sexual and personal identity, managing education and vocational tasks and negotiating the transition to independence. This presentation will focus on describing the diverse needs of young people undergoing cancer treatment and how these are addressed through a multidisciplinary Youth Cancer Service.

Professor Paul Monagle, Royal Children's Hospital and University of Melbourne

Bio:
Paul is the Stevenson Professor, Head of Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital. He is a Paediatric Haematologist at the Royal Children's Hospital and was Head of Haematology from 1998 until 2010. He is the group leader, Haematology Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

Professor Paul Monagle will close the conference.