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Characterising The Impacts Of Cancer Therapies On The Female Reproductive Tract






Dr Amy Winship

Group Leader, ARC DECRA Fellow, Member of Monash BDI Global Change Programs, Department of Anatomy and Development Biology, Monash University

Hybrid Event

ZOOM: https://monash.z
Passcode: 492904

In Person: CL_15
Innovation Walk, Room
G19, Meeting (Bldg 75)

In recent years, attention has shifted from conventional cancer therapies to more personalised, targeted treatments with reduced off-target effects. This includes the introduction of immunotherapies and small molecule inhibitors, like PARP inhibitors to the clinic, but with no preclinical investigations or understanding of their impacts on the female reproductive tract, or fertility.

The number and quality of primordial follicle oocytes in the ovary are non-renewable and the source of all mature ovulatory oocytes. They are therefore indispensable for female fertility. We’ve shown that new line therapies including immune checkpoint inhibitors and PARPi, administered at clinically relevant levels, dramatically depletes the primordial follicle reserve in mice. Importantly, while the oncofertility field has largely focused on the ovary, we have comprehensively characterised the impacts of conventional cancer therapies on the uterus in vivo, for the first time. Together, these studies could not only improve our understanding of the extent and mechanisms of cancer-therapy mediated damage, but also provide novel insights for better strategies to protect fertility.

Amy is an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award Fellow at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Amy completed her PhD in 2016 at the Hudson
Institute of Medical Research, which focused on the role of cytokines in the female reproductive tract and reproductive cancer in the Embryo Implantation Lab. Amy relocated to the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, in the Ovarian Biology Laboratory led by Dr Karla Hutt in 2017, to examine the importance of DNA damage repair for oocyte quality,
female fertility and offspring health. This research is pertinent in understanding new challenges facing reproductive medicine, including improving our understanding of the
environmental factors that impact on fertility, such as diet, environmental pollutants and cancer therapies.

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