Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe awarded RCH Foundation Grant

Pic Left to Right - Rafael Serrano Real, Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe, Dr Willemijn Blok and Dr Lei Shong Lau

Congratulations to Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe, and her core team Dr Lei Shong Lau, Dr Catherine Allingham and Rafael Serrano Real from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology who were awarded the RCH Foundation Grant for Fertility Care from Diagnosis to Survivorship. The funding is for 3 years to translate high quality oncofertility and survivorship care in children and adolescents with cancer.

Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe is a Winter and Glover Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Clinical Lead in Fertility, Royal Children’s Hospital, Consultant Gynaecologist, The Women’s Hospital, Oncology and Dysplasia Service, Reproductive Services and Research Fellow (Honorary), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Brain and Mind Theme.

Dr Jayasinghe is a recognised national expert and an international pioneer in paediatric oncofertility, where gonadal tissue is collected and cryopreserved prior to gonadotoxic cancer treatment in the hope that it may be autografted back into the body in adulthood to achieve parenthood. One in 900 adults is a survivor of childhood cancer and >1/3 will be infertile as a result. When adults have cancer Fertility Preservation (FP) (collection of eggs, sperm, gonadal tissue) is offered but this was not done for children.

Working across the paediatric and adult sectors, Dr Jayasinghe established the Victorian Fertility Preservation Taskforce, a multidisciplinary team from 17 different craft groups spanning 4 Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centres (University of Melbourne, The Women’s, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Peter Mac) and Monash. She also chairs the ANZ paediatric oncofertility coalition which includes oncofertility champions from 11 Australian New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) centres.

Dr Jayasinghe’s team is committed to participatory design in health care with consumers and clinicians. She established an FP Taskforce consumer Advisory Group which is headed by Ann Kay the Chair of the ANZCHOG Parental advisory group and is informed by The Youth Cancer Action Board (YCAB) of survivors aged 16-25 years, and the Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service Parental Advisory Group.

The Fertility Care from Diagnosis to Survivorship collaborators include Prof Lynn Gillam Department of Population Health, Prof Margaret Zacharin (Dept of Paediatrics), Dr Lisa Orme (RCH, Peter Mac), Prof Maria McCarthy (MCRI) ,  Dr Leanne Super (RCH, Monash), Rafael Serrano Real and Paula Spain Oncofertility Coordinators, Dr Lei Shong Lau and Dr Catherine Allingham Program managers.

Pic Left to Right - Dr Catherine Allingham and Paula Spain