Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers examine future implementation of new form of non-invasive prenatal testing for unborn babies

25.09.2007
Experts from across the world will meet to discuss the implementation of a pioneering non-invasive test to determine the blood type of unborn babies at an event hosted by the University of Warwick.

The Special Advances in Fetal and Neonatal Evaluation (SAFE) Network of Excellence is holding a two-day workshop at the De Montfort Hotel in Kenilworth on the 26th and 27th of September. The symposium will discuss issues associated with implementation of new Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic (NIPD) tests based on minute traces of fetal DNA in the mother’s blood. Large scale uses for various types of population screening are being considered, both inside and outside the UK.

Currently, this new type of test can be used to identify fetal blood group in pregnancies where the woman is rhesus negative. This is especially important if the fetus itself is rhesus positive, in which case the woman may become sensitised and develop antibodies against her own child. Such sensitisation can result in haemolytic disease of the newborn, with antibodies in the mother’s blood attacking her baby’s blood cells leading to jaundice and anaemia or, in extreme cases, death. Currently, over 110,000 women a year in the UK are given a blood product (anti-D) to prevent such sensitisation during their pregnancy. A large number of these women do not need this form of prophylaxis because their baby will not have a rhesus positive blood group. The new test could bring benefits to these women, and to the NHS in terms of saved expenditure on anti-D. At the same time, the new tests are expensive. The meeting will debate the technical performance, costs and benefits of this new form of testing and its potential for widespread implementation in different countries.

For already sensitised women (500-600 pregnancies/year in the UK) NIPD tests could replace the use of amniocentesis (an invasive test used to identify the blood group of the fetus) which is associated with 1% risk of miscarriage. NIPD test implementation could therefore bring very important clinical benefits to these women.

NIPD tests are being developed in laboratories throughout the world following the observation that circulatory cell-free fetal DNA is present in maternal plasma and serum. Techniques for extracting and amplifying this DNA have already begun to impact on clinical practice as a reliable and efficient alternative to invasive testing to identify fetal blood group and, when clinically necessary, to determine the sex of a fetus. The SAFE Network (funded by the European Commission) is dedicated to developing non-invasive tests for use in the diagnosis of other genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, beta-thalassaemia and Down’s syndrome.

The symposium is being led by the University of Warwick Medical School. Warwick’s Professor Ala Szczepura said: "We look forward to insightful discussions and hope to come to conclusions about test implementation at the population level in the UK and other countries."

Speakers will include experts from Germany, the Netherlands, France, UK, India and the USA. Key international findings from industry on test development, from laboratory scientists on test performance, from economists on the cost-effectiveness of new testing programmes, and from policy makers/regulators on implementation issues will be presented and discussed. In particular, the workshop will open the debate on patients’ views of the perceived risks and benefits of such new tests.

Richard Fern | alfa
Further information:
http://www.safenoe.org
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/researchers_examine_future/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction

19.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Integrated lab-on-a-chip uses smartphone to quickly detect multiple pathogens

19.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming

19.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>