Melbourne IVF was the first clinic in the state to introduce karyomapping, a test that allows couples to screen the embryos before they undergo fertility treatment to prevent passing on diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and two genes that increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
The Melbourne family lost their four week old to a life-threatening hereditary condition, but thanks to the new technology they are now celebrating the birth of a healthy baby boy.
On the same day their baby was born, a Sydney couple who used the technology gave birth to a baby who does not carry the BRCA 1 breast and ovarian cancer gene.
Mike and Victoria, who declined to have their surname used, wanted desperately to have a healthy baby after losing their first child to Congenital Myasthenic syndrome.
They supplied samples of their own blood and those from their first baby Charlie to help scientists work out which gene was affected.
“karyomapping allows to more easily to find out if an embryo is carrying an affected gene,” Melbourne IVF’s Dr. Lyndon Hale said.
They then select embryos that don’t have the defective gene and implant them, improving the chance of the couple having a healthy child.
This type of pre-implantation genetic test is only possible when the exact gene mutation can be identified.
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