Tuesday, 10 November 2015

New drug for safer IVF treatment

There is good news for childless couples opting for IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation).

Originally called 'test-tube' baby technique, IVF was developed more than 30 years ago to treat women with damaged fallopian tubes which take the sperms from the male to the womens eggs. But at times the treatment could cause severe side effects. The hormone kisspeptin could be a safer and more effective way to harvest eggs during IVF treatment, according to a new study conducted by Researchers from Imperial College London. During conventional IVF treatment, doctors inject patients with the hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which helps ovaries to mature eggs that are later harvested and mixed with sperm in a test-tube ('in vitro') to create the embryo. A potential side effect during this step of IVF is ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS) - a potentially life-threatening condition. Severe OHSS occurs in up to 2% of all patients, but women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at much higher risk, with up to 25 per cent of such patients suffering severe OHSS. Researchers from Imperial College London, working with clinicians from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, found that using kisspeptin as an alternative hormone to hCG - to mature and harvest eggs did not lead to OHSS, even in women at high risk of developing the condition. Of the 60 women at high risk of OHSS given kisspeptin at different doses during the study, no women developed moderate, severe or critical OHSS during their pregnancy. The average live birth rate was 45% across all doses, rising to 62% for women given the best performing dose of kisspeptin. Ali Abbara, the lead author of the study, says: "We have shown that using kisspeptin in place of conventional drugs used during IVF treatment safely matures eggs, even in women at high risk of OHSS". "Interestingly, our results also suggest that using the best performing dose of kisspeptin resulted in pregnancy rates almost twice those reported for this age group using conventional stimuli of egg maturation. Kisspeptin appears to be a promising therapy and further studies are now needed to directly compare kisspeptin with currently available IVF treatments," the scientist added.UNI XC SB 1033