CHR in the News – Late 2017 Edition

During November Vitaly Kushnir, MD, CHR’s Director of Fertility Preservation and Continuous Medical Education, and Associate Scientist, was quoted by two publications on two very different subjects. In the New Scientist of December 2, 2017, Jessica Hamzelou presented an article, titled “Playing with the odds,” pointing out that reported “fertility success rates (in the U.S. reported by IVF centers to the CDC and SART and in the UK to HEFA) are manipulated and misleading.”

In making this point she drew heavily on recent publication from CHR investigators, with Dr. Kushnir as lead author, which offered strong evidence for data manipulation by many reporting U.S. IVF centers. She particularly referred to the finding that freeze-all (or embryo banking) cycles facilitate data manipulation since they allow removal from reporting mandates of poorer prognosis patients. Consequently, the more freeze-all cycles a center does, the more it is given the opportunity to cheat by excluding poor prognosis patients from consideration, which, of course, improves the center’s outcomes by only reporting outcomes in better prognosis patients.

Interestingly, the CDC refused the reporter an interview. In this context, it is important to note that SART has already started to address these loopholes; yet the CDC has not!

On September 22, 2017 Alexandria McIntire quoted Dr. Kushnir in an article published by WebMD under the heading, “Egg freezing gives options but has risks.” Where he was quoted, represented CHR’s position on the subject well, especially emphasizing that abuses of young women by a rapidly evolving egg-freezing industry must be prevented.

Those sentiments, indeed, carried the day, when CHR decided to announce a new egg-freezing program.

Masada Siegel, in turn quoted on November 21, 2017 in CHR’s early contributions to the now worldwide use of DHEA in female infertility. It is truly remarkable that it is almost 15 years since CHR published its first DHEA paper.

Then, early this month, Norbert Gleicher, MD, CHR’s Medical Director and Chief Scientist, was invited to contribute a commentary on PGS to, a UK-based scientific news site. The publication was timed to coincide with the organization’s annual conference in London. Dr. Gleicher outlined the troubling history of the three iterations of the procedure and concluded that the current form of PGS (PGT-A) should not be routinely offered to patients until the test’s efficacy is established beyond reasonable doubt.

This is a part of the December 2017 VOICE.