A Philadelphia couple is the first to have a child born through a new screening technique that identifies which embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) are most likely to lead to successful pregnancies. This new genome sequencing technique, which has never before been applied in the screening of embryos, was used by Michael Glassner, M.D., founding director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Bryn Mawr Hospital, part of Main Line Health, and medical director of the Main Line Fertility Center (MLFC).
“It’s an honor to be involved in this groundbreaking technology in fertility treatment,” says Dr. Glassner. “Screening embryos will revolutionize the field of infertility and will provide hope for families who are suffering while trying to get pregnant. This technology is going to significantly impact pregnancy rates and I think it will soon become the standard of care.”
The technique is known as “next generation sequencing” (NGS), a powerful method capable of decoding entire genomes. Vast quantities of DNA data are produced from each sample tested, simultaneously revealing information on the inheritance of genetic disorders, chromosome abnormalities and mitochondrial mutations.
As part of the study, the patient’s eggs were retrieved and then fertilized in the MLFC laboratory, and the resulting embryos were biopsied and frozen. The biopsied cells were sent to Dr. Wells’ team, who performed the new method for screening embryos. The embryos were screened for the correct number of chromosomes, and any embryo with a normal number of chromosomes was thawed and implanted into the patient, who delivered a healthy baby boy in May of 2013.
The details of this screening technique were reported at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction (ESHRE) in London. Scientists at MLFC in Bryn Mawr, PA co-authored the research findings that were presented at the meeting by Dr. Dagan Wells of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Oxford.
For more information about this new IVF screening technique, read this Philly.com article.
Bryn Mawr Hospital, a member of Main Line Health, is a 319-bed, not-for-profit acute-care teaching hospital dedicated to helping the community stay well ahead on the path to life-long health. The Hospital has achieved Magnet® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the nation’s highest award for recognizing excellence in nursing care, and has been nationally recognized by Press Ganey, Thomson Reuters (now Truven Analytics), The Joint Commission and other healthcare ratings organizations for its high quality patient care. Bryn Mawr Hospital has been named among the top ten hospitals in the Philadelphia metro area in US News & World Report’s Best Hospitals, and is ranked as high-performing in nine categories: cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. The Hospital offers a full range of services, including cancer care, orthopedic care, cardiovascular care, maternity care, bariatrics, neurovascular and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, all aided by a dedicated team of health care professionals and innovative technology such as the da Vinci® Surgical System’s robotic technology and RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. Bryn Mawr Hospital has collaborated with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children to include round-the-clock pediatric care for the pediatric inpatient unit and in the pediatric emergency department with additional board-certified emergency medicine physicians. For more information about Bryn Mawr Hospital, visit mainlinehealth.org/brynmawr.
Mary Kate Coghlan
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