Thursday, May 23, 2024

Pioneering HLA matching of embryos before implantation offers hope to Thalassemia patients, children

The pioneering Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) matching of embryos, which are checked and confirmed disease-free, before uterus implantation, which allows the birth of a disease-free saviour child to Thalassemia carrier parents, promises to bring relief to numerous such couples, and their Thalassemia-affected elder children.

Parents of a Thalassemia-affected 7-year-old boy from Ahmedabad underwent In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment at Bavishi Fertility Institute in the hope of giving birth to a Thalassemia-free child, who could serve as a bone marrow donor for the elder sibling and permanently cure him.

“The IVF treatment was done as usual, and embryos were formed. But, before transferring the embryos back into the uterus, they were tested for the presence of Thalassemia mutation. The embryos were further tested for HLA matching with the elder siblings. The embryos not affected by Thalassemia and matching with the affected children were transferred, resulting in the pregnancy,” said Dr. Falguni Bavishi of Bavishi Fertility Institute, who guided the couples throughout the process.

Fresh tests confirmed the two newborns are not suffering from Thalassemia and are HLA matches for the elder siblings. When fit to donate, they will donate their bone marrow and help their siblings get rid of the disease permanently.

“These were unique and rare cases at Bavishi Fertility Institute. In fact, very few such cases have been reported in the world. We are helping one more couple that has a child suffering from Thalassemia with the same treatment. The mother is four months pregnant,” Dr. Bavishi said.

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