Personalising Cancer, Fertility & Me: An Individually-tailored Decision Support Aid for Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer

In recent years, the ability of technology to support and enhance healthcare provision has become widely accepted, with about 370,000 health-related apps available online (according to Orcha), and the NHS promoting a library of over 90 apps.

The aim of this project is to create a video-based, personalised decision aid for young women who have been diagnosed with cancer and need to make time-sensitive choices about preserving their future fertility. The tool will support the provision of healthcare by assisting patients in making informed decisions at what is often a very stressful time.

The existing decision aid tool was developed by a consortium of clinical and academic partners in 2020, with the support of Yorkshire Cancer Research, and takes the form of a printed booklet. Whilst the booklet has been shown to have a positive impact on patients’ ability to make fertility decisions, it contains a large amount of information that is not always relevant to the patient using it. This can make the booklet confusing to use.

This project will look at applying and extending personalised storytelling techniques developed within Digital Creativity Labs to create an individually-tailored version of the decision support tool. This will be developed as an interactive video using DC Labs’ Unity-based Cutting Room environment.

These include: 

  • providing patients with a guided path through treatment options, based on patient or clinician input of data; 
  • offering opportunities for exploring particular treatment options in more detail based upon individual interest; 
  • the potential for using analytics data about elements viewed to guide subsequent conversations between patients and clinicians.

Required Skills

We are seeking candidates for up to two roles, with the following spread of skills:

Required Skills

You will learn to apply and develop your skills as either a software developer or videographer in the context of interactive filmmaking and also to create a prototype that has the potential to have a positive impact on the lives of young people.

How to Apply

For more details on the summer school application process (including eligibility and funding) please go here: 

If you would like to ask any informal questions about the research project, please contact Dr Jonathan Hook, and Dr Bob Phillips 

For questions about the programme, logistics etc, please contact Ella Eyre, DC Labs Administrator, on 


Dr. Jonathan Hook — Senior Lecturer (DC Labs; Dept. of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media)

Dr. Bob Phillips — Senior Clinical Academic and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Oncology (York Centre for Reviews and Dissemination; Leeds Children's Hospital)

Further Reading

Cancer, Fertility and Me, 2021.

Concannon, S., Rajan, N., Shah, P., Smith, D., Ursu, M. & Hook, J. Brooke Leave Home: Designing a Personalized Film to Support Public Engagement with Open Data. In Proc. of CHI '20. ACM. 

 Jones, G., Skull, J., Velikova, G., Greenfield, D,. Bekker, H., Mahmoodi, N., Snowden, J., Yeomanson, J., Gath, J., Phillips, B., Lane, S., Anderson, R., 2020. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2020) 180:578. 

Ursu, M., Smith, D., Hook, J., Concannon, S., Gray, J. Authoring Interactive Fictional Stories in Object-Based Media (OBM). ACM.