three-parent IVF baby birth 'revolutionary': doctor
Send a link to a friend
[October 18, 2016]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York
fertility specialist, who said he successfully carried out a
"three-parent" in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique resulting in a
baby boy, called the procedure a "revolutionary approach in human
John Zhang, medical director of New Hope Fertility Center in New
York, spearheaded the technique roughly five months ago with a
Jordanian couple at a clinic in Mexico.
The procedure, which the U.S. government has forbidden due to
perceived risks to the mother and child, is designed to help
families with mitochondrial diseases passed down maternally,
affecting around one in 6,500 children worldwide.
The treatment uses the genetic (DNA) material from the parents and
an egg donor to create an embryo. Some stem-cell scientists say
Mexico lacks the regulatory oversight and clinical expertise to
carry it out safely.
"This new technology, the first time in human history, a healthy
live person that is created by two eggs recombined it together with
one sperm," Zhang told Reuters during a fertility conference in New
York. "This not even has happened in nature."
Zhang said the mother of the baby has Leigh syndrome, a fatal and
inherited disorder caused by mutations in mitochrondial DNA that
affect the central nervous system. Symptoms begin within a year of a
child's birth and lead to death within a span of several years.
Dr. Egli said that he expects the number of patients seeking such
treatments to grow and hopes it will be approved in the U.S.
"I think it is unfortunate that the political situation here results
in the paralysis that does not allow the use of the expertise
present here," said Egli. "The outcome for patients would be much
better... the way it is now is they cannot keep up with the
[to top of second column]
Zhang, who is scheduled to present his findings at a meeting of the
American Society of Reproductive Medicine on Wednesday in Salt Lake
City, Utah, said the questions were all a part of the scientific
progress he thinks is being made.
"Eighty percent of the time there is criticism, and 20 percent of
the time maybe in favor. I think what happened is very healthy and
very encouraging," he said.
Zhang said he relished seeing families who have suffered from the
death of a child finally able to have a healthy child. "I just feel
that I am bringing a gift. I really think it's just a wonderful
(Reporting by Reuters TV in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.