Free Access Articles
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for monogenic disorders has the drawback of time and cost associated with tailoring a specific test for each couple, disorder, or both. The inability of any single assay to detect the monogenic disorder in question and simultaneously the chromosomal complement of the embryo also limits its application as separate tests may need to be carried out on the amplified material. The first clinical use of a novel approach (‘karyomapping’) was designed to circumvent this problem.
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for inherited disorders is presently applied for more than 300 different conditions. The most frequent PGD indication is cystic fibrosis (CF), the largest series of which is reviewed here, totalling 404 PGD cycles. This involved testing for 52 different CFTR mutations with almost half of the cases (195/404 cycles) performed for ΔF508 mutation, one-quarter (103/404 cycles) for six other frequent mutations and only a few for the remaining 45 CFTR mutations. There were 44 PGD cycles performed for 25 CF-affected homozygous or double-heterozygous CF patients (18 male and seven female partners), which involved testing simultaneously for three mutations, resulting in birth of 13 healthy CF-free children and no misdiagnosis.
- The idea that biomedical research can be influenced by political events implies a teleological basis indicating that scientific achievements occur because there is a political need. Such a concept appears to have been the reason PGD was fast-tracked to emerge as a biomedical achievement well before its due date, occurring at a time when human embryology was still struggling to reach a reasonable level of efficiency and become adopted as a clinically relevant advance around the world. One story underlying the historical achievement of the HFE Act 1990, enabling regulated embryo research, steps outside the firm ground of biomedical science and encourages the idea that Reproductive BioMedicine Online should embrace a further section enabling articles dealing with ‘History, politics and personalities’ where these influence biomedical research.
- This article reports a historical study of factors influencing the achievement of clinical preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in 1990, 22 years after its first demonstration in animals. During the 1970s, research on PGD continued in large farm animals, but serious interest in human PGD was not evident until 1986. First, interest in PGD during the 1970s waned with the advent of prenatal testing, which for gynaecologists was clinically more familiar, technically simpler and ethically less challenging than IVF.