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 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>