First Baby Tested For BRCA1 Before Conception Born In UK
Mr Paul Serhal, Honorary UCLH Consultant/UCL Lecturer and Medical Director of the Assisted Conception Unit, commented: "This little girl will not face the spectre of developing this genetic form of breast cancer or ovarian cancer in her adult life. The parents will have been spared the risk of inflicting this disease on their daughter. The lasting legacy is the eradication of the transmission of this form of cancer that has blighted these families for generations."
Patients who are offered this form of diagnosis have devastating family histories of serious illness and early deaths due to breast and ovarian cancers.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) involves undertaking an In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment cycle in order to have a number of embryos available for specific genetic testing. PGD provides information regarding the genetic status of the embryo, to be known prior to conception. It has the added advantage of avoiding the potential dilemma and physical and emotional trauma of undergoing a termination of an affected pregnancy.
Scientists and doctors at the Assisted Conception Unit and the PGD group at the UCL Institute for Women's Health have pioneered and successfully applied this technology for avoiding transmission of cancer predispositions in a whole host of cancers. This includes a genetic form of bowel cancer (APC) and a genetic form of cancer of the retina (retinoblastoma).
1.) PLEASE NOTE: The family concerned wish to remain anonymous and do not want to be contacted, therefore no further personal details can be given to the media about this case.
2.) The PGD team at UCL is led by Dr Sioban SenGupta and Karen Fordham.
3.) The Assisted Conception Unit is a private clinic, based at University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).
Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL is the seventh-ranked university in the 2008 THES-QS World University Rankings, and the third-ranked UK university in the 2008 league table of the top 500 world universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCL alumni include Marie Stopes, Jonathan Dimbleby, Lord Woolf, Alexander Graham Bell, and members of the band Coldplay. UCL currently has over 12,000 undergraduate and 8,000 postgraduate students. Its annual income is over £600 million.
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