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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
Sujata Lalit Kumar, MD, Post doc
Michael Feichtinger, MD, Post doc
Panagiotis Tsiartas, MD, Post doc
Tekla Lind, MD, Post doc
Frida Lundberg, Post doc
Ida Wikander, MD, Clinical Research Fellow
Fotios Sergouniotis, MD, Clinical Research Fellow
Max Waterstone, Master student

I am also co-supervisor of one doctoral candidate:

Luisa Kessler

Selected publications

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

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For wider audiences:

Article in Medical Science in 2015

From "Nätverket mot gynekologisk cancer" (in Swedish)

From "Onkologi i Sverige" (in Swedish)