Tuesday, November 25, 2008

EMD Serono launches patient registry for egg freezing

Written by Steve Masler, CEO of Fertility SOURCE Companies

Serono has launched a noteworthy project that is no doubt connected to the rapidly growing interest in egg freezing for all manners of conditions, not the least of which is freezing of donor eggs for later provision to recipients. ASRM 2008 was replete with scientific presentations and posters on various studies of the application of egg freezing. Judging from anecdotal comments heard at the conference, egg freezing will be a larger part of the repetoire of fertility practices in 2009 than it has ever been before. Serono's intended efforts at evaluation of the two techniques commonly used in egg freezing, "slow-cooling" and "vitrification" can be valuable but may be too little (400 women) and protracted over too long a period (three year recruitment period plus two year additional tracking period) to have large effects on its own. But, as a starter to encourage others to enter the fray, it is very timely.

Click on the link below to access the article mentioned above:

EMD Serono launches patient registry for egg freezing

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oocyte donation program using egg cryo-banking

Written by Steve Masler, CEO of Fertility SOURCE Companies

ASRM 2008 in San Francisco was like a coming out party for oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing). It seems that many have become convinced via studies that egg freezing for various applications is now viable and that it not only is a more efficient method for egg donation (than fresh egg donation) but also a less costly one to the patient. Numerous scientific presentations and posters dealt with comparisons of vitrification and slow freezing as well as the application of egg freezing in general.

One poster was regarding a frozen egg bank of 61 donors that had been established by a single fertility practice. The same group will be publishing an article in Fertility & Sterility that will the results of a study comparing the use of frozen eggs from donors who had previously donated fresh eggs. The conclusion presented is "The present study demonstrates that oocyte cryopreservation can be considered as a tool to provide highly successful outcomes in an egg donor program. Our results validate the use of oocyte cryo-banking for egg donation purposes. In addition to the high success rates, oocyte cryo-banking can help to eliminate some of the obstacles associated with the current "fresh embryo" transfer policy. Oocyte cryo-banking will also dramatically reduce frozen embryo storage and mitigate related moral/ethical concerns, and may help with donor-recipient synchronization and possibly reduce cost."

Anecdotally, many fertility practitioners returned from ASRM believing that the time for large scale movement toward egg freezing for donor situations as well as for other applications has arrived.

Click on the link below to access the abstract for Fertility & Sterility article mentioned above:

Clinical evaluation of the efficiency of an oocyte donation program using egg cryo-banking