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CHR's Contributions to Academic Journals- PGS and Advanced Maternal Age

Dr. Norbert Gleicher, MD, discusses the exciting research updates and journal publications for the Center For Human Reproduction that occurred during the summer.

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Hello. For those of you who don't know me yet, I'm Norbert Gleicher MD and I'm the medical director of the Center for Reproduction, the chief scientist here. And I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to talk to you again after we took our summer break and are now with full energy back at work. Indeed during the summer, a lot of exciting stuff has happened. Not the least in regards to some of the research activities here at the center. And I think this is a good opportunity to provide you with a short update. Fertility Sterility is the official organ of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which is the professional society for fertility providers in fertility centers. And this journal has in this year initiated a new series of articles, or I should better call it compendium, where controversial issues in the specialty are chosen and proponents and opponents of a certain treatment, of a certain hypothesis, of a certain idea, present their opposing opinions. And in the August issue of Fertility Sterility that I've just shown you, there is such a debate on the issue of Pre-implantation Genetic Screening, or as it is now called Pre-implantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy. As visitors to our website by now know, I'm sure, we here at CHR are not big fans of this procedure. Indeed, we think it is a totally worthless procedure that just significantly adds to the cost of IVF and even may harm outcomes for many patients because it results in a very high prevalence of so-called false positive diagnosis (meaning embryos that are declared to be abnormal) and therefore are not used or this even discarded while they actually are perfectly fine. Hundreds of healthy babies have indeed been born from such transfers. In this debate, I had the privilege of representing the side (the three investigators) who are not big fans of PGS/PGTA. There are three others on the other side who have different opinions and are strong proponents of the procedure. I strongly encourage you to to read this debate because I think it is very revealing and I'm sure educational. This is the second time in a few months that I had the opportunity to participate in such a debate. Last year already, actually in the first such debate, I was also invited to speak about the concept of single embryo transfer. But PGS is, in my opinion, an even more important issue and so I strongly urge you to have a look at these presentations because they really show you both sides of the debate. Maybe even more importantly, in another prominent journal in our specialty, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, we in August to large degree filled the pages of this journal. Two communications from CHR are in this issue of the journal and each one of them in addition was given by the editors an editorial comment. And one of those indeed was given by the editors the opportunity for others to comment on our communication. So, the first paper that is included in this journal is a very important one because in it we are reporting the two oldest pregnancies achieved in women with use of their own eggs through IVF ever reported in the medical literature. Two women who basically were forty eight years old who conceived. One of them indeed has delivered a healthy baby. Unfortunately the other one had a miscarriage. In addition to these two oldest patients, we are reporting a series of women all above age 43 who conceived and the basic idea behind our article (also discussed as mentioned in an accompanying editorial note), the basic idea was to make the point that even quite old women have still a reasonable chance of pregnancy and delivery with their own eggs (at least some about those) and we are slowly learning to identify who those women are and that obviously makes the whole process more efficient. The second paper relates again to PGS /PGTA. It is a summary in response to prior articles that appeared in the Reproductive Biomedicine Online where we concluded that of those two articles really failed to note the controversy that this procedure has elicited, especially in the last years, since it was discovered that many so called "abnormal embryos" could lead to perfectly healthy pregnancies. In our comments we criticized the fact that that had not been noted in those prior two publications and then the authors of those publications were given the opportunity by the editors to respond in turn to our comments. Once again, this offers for those who are interested in the PGS/PGTA discussion yet another opportunity to hear opinions on both sides of this highly controversial issue and if you want to know even more, we suggest that you go to our monthly newsletter here in September. The CHR VOICE addresses this issue once again very much in detail. So much for the new academic year. Welcome back to CHR and I hope to see you soon again.

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