Amsterdam, The Netherlands: The efficacy of preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) has been one of the most hotly disputed subjects in assisted reproduction over the past few years. None of the trials carried out so far has shown conclusively whether it works or not. Now the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Task Force on PGS has decided to try to find out if a novel method of doing PGS using polar body biopsy and chromosome array analysis offers a possible solution.
Professor Joep Geraedts, ESHRE chairman, told the 25th annual conference of the society today (Sunday June 28) that the Task Force would carry out a pilot study of PGS in one of each pair of 23 chromosomes in polar bodies, tiny cells that are a by-product of egg development, in collaboration with BlueGnome, a DNA technology company based in Cambridge, UK. Once a pilot study has shown that the technique is feasible, the researchers intend to carry out an international randomised trial.
The first phase will begin in September 2009 in two centres: the University of Bonn, Germany (Dr. Markus Montag and Professor Hans van der Ven), and SISMER, Bologna, Italy (Dr. Luca Gianaroli and Dr. Cristina Magli). "Because this is a new technology," said Dr. Gianaroli, "we need to carry out a pilot study in order to be sure that the analysis can be completed within a time period that allows for fresh transfer, as well as to ensure the reliable identification of the chromosomal status of an oocyte in at least 90% of polar body biopsy attempts."
The two centres chosen for the pilot study have considerable experience in the field of polar body
biopsy because legislation in their countries restricts the possibility of undertaking embryo biopsy at a
later stage of development. The data from the study will be independently analysed by Dr. Sjoerd
Repping, from the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, who carried out a randomised trial of PGS
|Contact: Mary Rice|
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology