MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Reproductive Medicine
Associates of New Jersey (RMA NJ), a leading fertility center recognized
worldwide for its scientific achievements, is beginning a clinical study to
test a new technique that may improve pregnancy rates in women undergoing in
vitro fertilization (IVF). The study also aims to reduce miscarriages and
inherited disorders in offspring.
"This study is one of the first to combine two recent advances in
infertility treatment -- preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, and
blastocyst transfer -- to increase the chances of successful pregnancy with
low multiple births, using the fewest, healthiest embryos," said Richard
Scott, MD, a nationally esteemed reproductive endocrinologist, who pioneered
and directs the study at RMA NJ. "If results are favorable, we will have
discovered an important advance in IVF treatment that will give couples a
greater chance to achieve parenthood with the delivery of a genetically
In the RMA NJ randomized study, 120 patients under age 38 will undergo IVF
to produce multiple eggs, using a fertility medication known as Bravelle(R)
(urofollitropin for injection, USP), a highly purified, human-derived
follicle-stimulating hormone. The resulting eggs will be collected in a
traditional manner and then fertilized in the lab.
After three days in the lab, the resulting embryos will be tested with a
new state-of-the-art technology, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD),
which tests each embryo for genetic disorders. PGD involves removing one of
the approximately eight cells in each embryo and testing it for abnormalities.
Only embryos determined to be free of genetic abnormalities are replaced in
Traditionally, without PGD, a limited number of embryos that appear normal
are transferred to the uterus on day three or five following fertilization.
In the RMA NJ study, the 120 patients will be randomized into two groups. One
group will receive embryos that have been grown in the lab for five days to a
"blastocyst" stage. "Blastocyst" is a longer period of development in a
unique culture media that provides nutrients for cell development and sustains
embryo growth. Only the strongest, most robust embryos survive to this point,
so that fewer but stronger embryos are transferred back to the uterus. The
second group will use PGD in combination with blastocyst transfer on day five.
In both groups, only one or two embryos will be transferred into the uterus.
"By combining the advantages of genetic diagnosis and extended blastocyst
culture, only those embryos that are most likely to be genetically normal and
that have shown the greatest potential for ongoing development will be
transferred," said Dr. Scott. "This adds valuable insight into which embryos
truly possess the potential to become a healthy baby, and allows only one or
two embryos to be transferred. The technique maintains high pregnancy rates
while limiting the multiple pregnancy rate."
IVF is a treatment for infertility, where eggs obtained from the woman are
fertilized with the partner's sperm in the laboratory. The resulting embryos
may be transferred to the uterus where they may implant, resulting in a
About Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), PGD is
a technique that can be used during IVF to test embryos for genetic disorders
prior to their transfer to the uterus. PGD makes it possible for couples or
individuals with serious inherited disorders to decrease the risk of having a
child who is affected by the same problem. It involves removing a single cell
from each embryo under microscopic guidance and analyzing it for the presence
of genetic disorders. A diagnosis is obtained within a day or so of the test,
and only the unaffected embryos are replaced in the uterus. This technique is
controversial. At present, PGD is only offered in a few centers, usually
under the supervision of an institutional ethics review board, but its use may
become more widespread in the near future.
Richard T. Scott, Jr., MD
Dr. Richard Scott, a reproductive endocrinologist, is also board certified
as an embryologist, andrologist and high complexity clinical laboratory
director. He completed his fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at the
Jones Institute in Norfolk, VA, after receiving his MD degree from the
University of Virginia Medical School. He was Clinical Director of the
Reproductive Endocrinology Fellowship Program at the National Institutes of
Health, and founded the first IVF program in the federal government. Dr.
Scott has received numerous awards for excellence in clinical and laboratory
research, and frequently appears on national television.
About Reproductive Medicine Associates
Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey is a leading,
multi-location fertility center run by one of the most respected teams of
fertility specialists in the nation. The specialists have received national
and international recognition and awards for their contributions toward the
advancement of reproductive medicine. For more information about the center
or the study, please contact the Clinical Research Coordinator at 973-656-2841
or visit http://www.rmanj.com .
SOURCE Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey