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, MD, 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, Pennsylvania 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
About Main Line Health
Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.
At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.
The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.
Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.
About Bryn Mawr Hospital
Bryn Mawr Hospital, a member of Main Line Health, is a 234-bed, not-for-profit acute-care teaching hospital dedicated to helping the community stay well ahead on the path to lifelong health. Boasting a brand new Patient Pavilion that opened in February 2019, Bryn Mawr Hospital has received both regional and national recognition for its excellence in providing state-of-the-art, quality care. Bryn Mawr Hospital was named among the top 10 hospitals in the Philadelphia region, and the top 20 hospitals in Pennsylvania, in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals rankings for 2018–19, and Bryn Mawr Hospital has earned Magnet® designation for the third time for its superior nursing staff. The hospital offers a full range of services, including cancer care, orthopedic care, cardiovascular care, behavioral health, maternity care, bariatric surgery, neurovascular and a level III neonatal intensive care unit, all aided by a dedicated team of health care professionals and innovative technologies. Through Bryn Mawr Hospital’s collaboration with the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, the university-affiliated Neurovascular Center is an accredited thrombectomy-capable stroke center that offers rapid access to advanced diagnostics and treatment options for stroke care. Bryn Mawr Hospital has also collaborated with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children to include round-the-clock pediatric care for the pediatric unit and in the pediatric emergency department with additional board-certified, fellowship trained pediatric emergency medicine physicians.