Ashley Charitable Trust


In 2021, the Ashley Charitable Trust provided funding for a series of information films to support young cancer patients and their parents following a referral for fertility preservation treatment.

The Future Fertility Programme, which is funded by Oxford Hospitals Charity, offers young cancer patients at high risk of infertility a chance to preserve their fertility through freezing a sample of reproductive tissue.

Through a simple keyhole procedure, the team procures ovarian or testicular tissue which is frozen at ultra-low temperatures. The process can be initiated very quickly, avoiding the need to delay cancer treatment. Even babies can have their tissues stored.

Then, at a time when the patient wishes to start a family, if their own ovaries/testes have failed due to cancer treatment, the tissue can be re-implanted to restore function.

In order to help young patients and their parents fully understand the procedures, the clinical team in Oxford commissioned a series of information videos. There are 22 mini-films in total, 11 for testicular and 11 for ovarian patients, covering a range of topics including the reason for referral, the procedures themselves for collecting tissue, the necessary tests and potential benefits, risks and side effects, the regulation around tissue collection and storage, and the consent process for this.

Links to the videos are provided to patients/parents along with other supporting information ahead of formal consultations to obtain consent and prepare for treatment. The Ashley Charitable Trust provided a grant to Oxford Hospitals Charity to cover the costs of these films.

Dr. Sheila Lane, paediatric oncologist from OUH NHS Foundation and clinical lead for the programme, said: "These films are completely invaluable and we are very grateful indeed for the charitable support in making them. Parents of our young patients consistently tell us how useful it is to have something they can watch in their own time and refer back to when needed."