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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter





New genetic test may help to improve IVF success

31 May 2011

By Dr Rosie Morley

Appeared in BioNews 609

Multiple genetic tests have been performed on a single embryo for almost the first time, according to US researchers. The researchers from John Hopkins School of Medicine say their technique for making copies of an embryo's DNA can improve IVF success rates.

In a study published in April's Fertility and Sterility, they successfully tested embryos from a woman undergoing IVF treatment for both aneuploidy and the single gene disorder GM1 gangliosidosis. She gave birth to a healthy child.

Dr Paul Brezina, a clinical fellow in obstetrics and gynecology, who carried out the research said: 'We were able to amplify the genomic DNA accurately to the point where both single-gene testing and aneuploidy screening could be done. Up till now it has only been one or the other'.

Previously the number of different genetic tests that could be performed on an embryo during IVF was limited by the small amount of DNA that can be taken from an embryo.

The new 'modified multiple displacement amplification' technique replicates a tiny amount of DNA extracted from a single cell of a three-day old embryo so it can be tested for several disorders. Unaffected embryos can be used for the rest of the IVF treatment.

Since the study was published online in December 2010, this combination of tests has been offered to seven more women by study co-author Dr William Kearns at the Shady Grove Center for Preimplantation Genetics in Rockville, USA. Five women have so far become pregnant with the technique.

Speaking about one of the women, Dr Kearns said: 'She is a 39-year-old woman who is a carrier for Fragile X syndrome (a genetic disease that causes mental disabilities) and had two first trimester miscarriages. We did the same methodology on her and now she is pregnant. It is spectacular'.

 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

09 July 2012 - by Sarah Guy 
It is now scientifically feasible to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) during IVF to screen embryos for genes associated with high cancer risk, scientists say... [Read More]
15 August 2011 - by Tamara Hirsch 
Rhythmic activity detected in newly fertilised mouse eggs may provide a novel and non-invasive screening method for identifying embryos most likely to survive a full-term pregnancy, according to research published in Nature Communications... [Read More]
04 July 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas 
European researchers have linked ovarian stimulation in women aged over 35 to increased chromosomal abnormalities. Genetic screening shows that the production of oocytes is disrupted during fertility treatment involving ovarian stimulation... [Read More]
13 June 2011 - by Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
US researchers have found a link between an ovarian hormone called anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and IVF success. The findings suggest AMH testing could help clinicians tailor doses of ovary-stimulating drugs to improve women's egg production and likelihood of pregnancy... [Read More]

16 May 2011 - by Dr Rosie Morley 
A study of over 400,000 IVF treatment cycles in the UK has found a 'strong association' between the number of eggs retrieved prior to a woman undergoing IVF and live birth rate. The findings suggest that chances of a live birth increased with the number of eggs collected up to the number of 15, after which it began to decline.... [Read More]
09 May 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu 
A genetic predisposition towards autoimmune disease may be associated with lower pregnancy rates in IVF, a US study suggests. The findings offer a possible explanation for differences in IVF treatment outcomes between different ethnic groups.... [Read More]
07 March 2011 - by Leo Perfect 
Researchers from the University of Western Australia have published a study suggesting IVF effectiveness could be improved by undergoing more cycles.... [Read More]
28 February 2011 - by Dr Lucy Freem 
Stress levels are unlikely to affect whether or not a woman becomes pregnant following fertility treatment despite anecdotal reports, a review suggests.... [Read More]
10 January 2011 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel 
Researchers have developed a calculator that they claim can be used to provide people who are having fertility problems with an assessment of the likelihood of having a successful outcome following IVF... [Read More]

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