The National Institute of Health awarded Dr. Su with the 3-year California Breast Cancer Research Program Translational Research Award and a 5-year grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study reproductive health after cancer.
The California Breast Cancer Research Program Translational Research Award will be used to expand on prior research showing young breast cancer survivors are at a high risk of late effects related to reproductive health: estrogen-deprivation symptoms such as hot flashes, infertility, limited contraception options and sexual dysfunction. The next goal in her research will be to develop and test a novel reproductive health survivorship care plan intervention. This proposal includes translating the best available knowledge on managing reproductive health issues in young breast cancer survivors (YBCS) into a practical, accessible, evidence-based tool to address this deficit in survivorship care.
Infertility and premature ovarian aging are life-changing consequences of cancer in young women, yet the reproductive window after cancer treatment in young adult cancer survivors (YA survivors) is not known. In light of growing numbers of YA survivors and emergence of promising interventions on fertility *after* cancer treatment, there is a clear need to identify and categorize patterns of ovarian aging after cancer and the clinical profiles associated with them to assist in patient counseling and decision making. Through innovative use of social media for recruitment and non-clinic-based, minimally invasive blood and saliva collection, Dr. Su and her team have proposed estimating the reproductive lifespan in the context of cancer in order to guide patient counseling, individualize risks and preserve opportunities for biologic parenthood. The 5-year grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development will be used to conduct this study.