MADRID (EFE).— The first clinical pilot study in the world to validate an assisted reproduction technique known as Maternal Spindle Transfer (MST) concluded with six births in patients with fertility problems who accumulated in vitro fertilization failures.
The results of the study, which were published in the online edition of the journal “Fertility and Sterility” as a preliminary version of the print, show that the technique may have value as a treatment against challenging types of sterility, explains the Barcelona Science Park ( PCB) of the University of that city.
This innovative technique was developed by the Embryotools center —based in the PCB— during the last ten years.
The trial was carried out in Greece, at the Institute of Life-IASO IVF Center and involved a multidisciplinary team of scientists from international institutions, such as Embryotools, Juno Genetics (UK), the University of Oxford (UK) and the Oregon Health and Science University.
The researchers carried out 28 maternal spindle transfer (MST) attempts, which resulted in the birth of six babies. The state of health and development of the children —some are now over four years old— is completely normal, which provides peace of mind and confidence in the safety of this method.
The research also revealed important information about the potential use of MST to reduce risk or prevent disease transmission in patients carrying pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations.
Maternal spindle transfer is an advanced laboratory technique that is part of the methods known collectively as mitochondrial replacement therapies (MRTs).
These techniques were originally proposed to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial diseases and their application for this clinical purpose is already permitted in some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
The method consists of transferring the patient’s genetic material from her own egg to a donated egg from which its genetic material has previously been extracted, and implanting it. Currently, the only strategy available for patients who produce poor quality eggs is to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments using donated eggs or embryos.