Study: Advanced Embryo Selection increases IVF pregnancy rates by up to 65% | Melbourne IVF

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Study: Advanced Embryo Selection increases IVF pregnancy rates by up to 65%.

The results of the first randomised study(1) into 24Sure Array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) technology used in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, has found it significantly increases the pregnancy rates in IVF patients by up to 65%, even in younger patients with more favourable outcomes.

Dr Leeanda Wilton, Scientific Director Preimplantation Genetics at Melbourne IVF welcomed the results in the lead up to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Annual Meeting next week, where she will present her prize winning paper(2) using 24Sure Array CGH technology. 

“Melbourne IVF introduced 24Sure Array PGD technology to patients over 18 months ago as Advanced Embryo Selection, and our successes at Melbourne IVF mirror those published in the American study,” Dr Wilton said.

“Through our Advanced Embryo Selection program, more than 1,340 embryos have been successfully biopsied and tested using 24Sure Array PGD technology. 

“Patient groups treated at Melbourne IVF include those of advanced maternal age and those who have had multiple unsuccessful standard IVF treatment cycles; in these groups which have a low chance of success, the pregnancy success rate has doubled,” Dr Wilton said.

“We also have more than 20 couples that have already given birth, and another 50 women are currently expecting; we have no doubt that without Advanced Embryo Selection technology, many of these babies would not have otherwise been conceived,” Dr Wilton said.

Research conducted by Dr Wilton and her team at Melbourne IVF was awarded Best Scientific Paper at the World Congress on Human Reproduction in 2011, and Dr Wilton was invited to present this paper Chromosomal mosaicism in embryos from young ART patients determined by array comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH) at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Istanbul next week.

“The ability to analyse all 24 chromosomes has confirmed our long held belief that biopsy of day 3 embryos produce reliable and accurate outcomes, and I have been invited to present my research to this effect next week,” Dr Wilton said.

Advanced Embryo Selection using the 24Sure Array CGH technology, screens all 24 chromosomes in a developing embryo, which is a significant advance on earlier forms of PGD testing that only screened 8 out of 24 chromosomes.  A single cell is biopsied (removed) from the embryo on day three of development in the laboratory, and the DNA from the cell’s nucleus is multiplied thousands of times before being placed on a microarray, or DNA chip, where it is compared with normal male and female DNA. This allows the accurate detection of chromosome errors, increasing the chance of a healthy baby resulting from the transfer of a chromosomally normal embryo.

Melbourne IVF pioneered earlier forms of full chromosomal testing using single cell CGH from the mid-1990s, and reported the world’s first baby from this technology in 2001.

Dr Wilton, who is also Chair of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology PGD Consortium’s Array Working Group, said the significance of Advanced Embryo Selection is its ability to perform rapid testing on a single cell.

“Using Advanced Embryo Selection, testing can be performed on a single cell from a day 3 embryo, whereas similar forms of technology require embryos to develop to the blastocyst stage on day 5 in order for several cells to be available for testing,” Dr Wilton said.

“About 50% of all embryos fail to reach the blastocyst stage on day 5, and this means a number of patients have no embryos that can be tested.  Some of these embryos are viable and can result in live births.

“At Melbourne IVF we have a number of pregnancies from embryos that were biopsied on day 3, were found to be chromosomally normal and went on to a successful pregnancy, yet would not have satisfied the criteria for a day 5 biopsy,” she said.

“Advanced Embryo Selection also provides accurate results within 30 hours, meaning patients can undertake a fresh embryo transfer, and their treatment can continue uninterrupted, whereas in most cases embryos that need to be biopsied on day 5 must be frozen because the results are not available in time to perform a fresh embryo transfer.

“Our scientific team in Preimplantation Genetics is one of the most advanced in the world and we have the expertise and experience necessary to analyse and interpret the results, giving patients the greatest confidence in their treatment outcome,” Dr Wilton said.

Advanced Embryo Selection is most suited to couples or single women where: 

  • 5 or more embryos have been replaced without success;
  • the woman is aged 38 or more;
  • there is a history of recurrent miscarriage;
  • there has been a previous pregnancy with a chromosome error e.g. Down syndrome

References:

1. Study Reference:  The Journal of Molecular Cytogenetics by Yang et al 2012, 5:24 (2 May 2012)
2. Best Scientific Paper at the World Congress on Human Reproduction 2011, Chromosomal mosaicism in embryos from young ART patients determined by array comparative demonic hybridisation (aCGH), Dr Leeanda Wilton

Read more about Advanced Embryo Selection...
Read more about Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) at Melbourne IVF...
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