Research team Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg

Short Biography

Dr. Kenny A. Rodriguez Wallberg completed her medical education and her residency in obstetrics and gynecology in her home country, Colombia. As specialist, Dr Rodriguez-Wallberg was then awarded a fellowship from the Groupement Français de Gynécologie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescence and completed her training in Pediatric Gynecology at Hôpital Necker Enfant Malades in Paris, as well as in Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility and Assisted Reproduction at Cochin-Baudelocque. In 2005 she earned her PhD degree at Uppsala University in Sweden and since 2007, she is a Senior Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm and Head of the Program for Fertility Preservation. Dr Rodriguez-Wallberg is currently sharing her clinical work with both clinical and translational research, supported by the Clinical Investigator’s grant from Stockholm county council, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Radiumhemmets Research Fonds and Karolinska Institutet. Since 2013, Dr Rodriguez-Wallberg is Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet and in January 2017 she was promoted to the position of University Lecturer in Reproductive Oncology at the Department of Oncology-Pathology of Karolinska Institutet.

About my research

My specific area of interest and expertise focuses on the impact of cancer treatment on fertility potential and the prevention of infertility through fertility preservation strategies. This new medical field has been recently recognized and it could be named “Reproductive Oncology”. In the U.S. the term “Oncofertility” has become popular. As several methods are available for fertility pereservation and those are currently used for cancer patients, I consider of outmost importance the investigation of their safety in the oncological context.

My research also encompasses the impact of several variables and interventions, such as the performance of ovarian surgery, even conservative and for benign diseases, in the development of infertility, as well as the treatment of infertility, in particular by using assisted reproductive techniques. Psychological aspects of infertility after cancer, ethics in health care provision and a better understanding of specific patient groups’ access and barriers to healthcare are also subject of my research.

My research activity is clinically oriented and integrated into my clinical work as senior consultant at the Reproductive Medicine clinic of Karolinska University Hospital, where I have been the clinical responsible for the programme for fertility preservation since 2007, as well as into my current clinical fellowship at the Department of Oncology of Karolinska University Hospital. My Ph D thesis was dedicated to the study of health aspects in menopause and after completed in 2005, I initiated independent research in 2007 on fertility preservation, which was thereafter supported by a fulltime 2-year postdoctoral grant from the Swedish Society of Medicine Research, SSMF, and by a 3-year grant from the Swedish Research Council. Since then my projects have developed into both clinical and experimental research and thus my current research network includes clinicians and basic science researchers. Our research results have contributed to the improvement of potentially safer stimulation protocols for female patients with hormone-sensitive tumors including breast cancer, one of the most challenging patient groups in the field of fertility preservation. I have introduced the use of aromatase inhibitors for stimulation protocols of patients with breast cancer at Karolinska University Hospital in 2010 and shared my experience with colleagues of several Swedish hospitals, who have thereafter implemented those protocols at their hospitals successfully. Several of my current  projects in fertility preservation are prospective and of national coverage. Those projects include the evaluation of safety and efficacy of fertility preservation by surgical methods, such as in case of gynecological cancer, and by the performance of assisted reproductive technologies.

I am currently a Principal Investigator and research team leader at the department of Oncology-Pathology of Karolinska Institutet.

Team members

Gry Johansen, MD, PhD student
Anna Marklund, MD, PhD student
Tobias Lekberg, MD, PhD student
Xia Hao, Pharmacologist, PhD student
Amandine Anastacio, Molecular biologist, Post doc
Milan Milenkovic, MD, Post doc

I am also co-supervisor of three doctoral candidates:

Luisa Kessler, Frida Lundberg, Michael Feichtinger

Selected publications

Ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation among alternatives for fertility preservation in the Nordic countries - compilation of 20 years of multicenter experience.
Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Tanbo T, Tinkanen H, Thurin-Kjellberg A, Nedstrand E, Kitlinski M, et al
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2016 Sep;95(9):1015-26

Fertility preservation in women with cervical, endometrial or ovarian cancers.
Feichtinger M, Rodriguez-Wallberg K
Gynecol Oncol Res Pract 2016 ;3():8

Can ovarian suppression with gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) preserve fertility in cancer patients?
Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Turan V, Munster P, Oktay K
Ann. Oncol. 2016 Feb;27(2):357

Ovarian protection during adjuvant chemotherapy.
Oktay K, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Munster P
N. Engl. J. Med. 2015 Jun;372(23):2268-9

Is Estradiol Monitoring Necessary in Women Receiving Ovarian Suppression for Breast Cancer?
Papakonstantinou A, Foukakis T, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Bergh J
J. Clin. Oncol. 2016 May;34(14):1573-9

Fertility preservation during cancer treatment: clinical guidelines.
Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Oktay K
Cancer Manag Res 2014 ;6():105-17

Fertility preservation in young breast cancer patients: addressing individual patient needs. 
Rodriguez-Wallberg KA, Oktay K
Future Medicine 2013;2(2):135-147.

Principles of cancer treatment: impact on reproduction.
Rodriguez-Wallberg K
Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 2012 ;732():1-8

Recent advances in oocyte and ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation.
Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Oktay K
Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol 2012 Jun;26(3):391-405

One uterus bridging three generations: first live birth after mother-to-daughter uterus transplantation.
Brännström M, Bokström H, Dahm-Kähler P, Diaz-Garcia C, Ekberg J, Enskog A, et al
Fertil. Steril. 2016 Aug;106(2):261-6

Postoperative AMH reduction is not associated with reduced fecundity two years following ovarian cyst surgery.
Lind T, Lampic C, Olofsson J, Rodriguez-Wallberg K
Gynecol. Endocrinol. 2016 Sep;32(9):745-748

Attitudes towards new assisted reproductive technologies in Sweden: a survey in women 30-39 years of age.
Wennberg A, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Milsom I, Brännström M
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2016 Jan;95(1):38-44

Full-term newborn after repeated ovarian tissue transplants in a patient treated for Ewing sarcoma by sterilizing pelvic irradiation and chemotherapy.
Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Karlström P, Rezapour M, Castellanos E, Hreinsson J, Rasmussen C, et al
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2015 Mar;94(3):324-8

Anti-Müllerian hormone reduction after ovarian cyst surgery is dependent on the histological cyst type and preoperative anti-Müllerian hormone levels.
Lind T, Hammarström M, Lampic C, Rodriguez-Wallberg K
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2015 Feb;94(2):183-90

Women more vulnerable than men when facing risk for treatment-induced infertility: a qualitative study of young adults newly diagnosed with cancer.
Armuand G, Wettergren L, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Lampic C
Acta Oncol 2015 Feb;54(2):243-52

Desire for children, difficulties achieving a pregnancy, and infertility distress 3 to 7 years after cancer diagnosis.
Armuand G, Wettergren L, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Lampic C
Support Care Cancer 2014 Oct;22(10):2805-12

Young women's perceptions of fertility-related information and fertility distress before surgery for ovarian cysts.
Lind T, Lampic C, Hammarström M, Rodriguez-Wallberg K
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2013 Nov;92(11):1290-6

Sex differences in fertility-related information received by young adult cancer survivors.
Armuand G, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Wettergren L, Ahlgren J, Enblad G, Höglund M, et al
J. Clin. Oncol. 2012 Jun;30(17):2147-53

Fertility preservation and pregnancy in women with and without BRCA mutation-positive breast cancer.
Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Oktay K
Oncologist 2012 ;17(11):1409-17

Four spontaneous pregnancies and three live births following subcutaneous transplantation of frozen banked ovarian tissue: what is the explanation?
Oktay K, Türkçüoğlu I, Rodriguez-Wallberg K
Fertil. Steril. 2011 Feb;95(2):804.e7-10

Fertility preservation by ovarian stimulation and oocyte cryopreservation in a 14-year-old adolescent with Turner syndrome mosaicism and impending premature ovarian failure.
Oktay K, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Sahin G
Fertil. Steril. 2010 Jul;94(2):753.e15-9

GnRH agonist trigger for women with breast cancer undergoing fertility preservation by aromatase inhibitor/FSH stimulation.
Oktay K, Türkçüoğlu I, Rodriguez-Wallberg K
Reprod. Biomed. Online 2010 Jun;20(6):783-8

In vitro maturation improves oocyte or embryo cryopreservation outcome in breast cancer patients undergoing ovarian stimulation for fertility preservation.
Oktay K, Buyuk E, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Sahin G
Reprod. Biomed. Online 2010 May;20(5):634-8

Options on fertility preservation in female cancer patients.
Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Oktay K
Cancer Treat. Rev. 2012 Aug;38(5):354-61

Psychosocial distress in young cancer survivors.
Rosen A, Rodriguez-Wallberg K, Rosenzweig L
Semin Oncol Nurs 2009 Nov;25(4):268-77

For wider audiences:

Article in Medical Science in 2015

From "Nätverket mot gynekologisk cancer" (in Swedish)

From "Onkologi i Sverige" (in Swedish)

Cancer and Oncology