Summary of the "CRYO" congress in Berlin, March 21-23, 2013

This was a unique gathering in Europe of the leading scientists and clinicians working on cryopreservation for fertility preservation, stem cell biology to produce eggs and sperm (gametes) and tissue freezing and transplantation. This field of reproduction is looming as the major solution to the moderation of the explosive world wide infertility epidemic, as a method to maintain fertility into the later years when nowadays most people are ready to have a child, but can't because of the aging oocyte, or the absence of spermatogenesis. The results of this very successful meeting indicate just how much progress we have made in pursuing this holy grail, of extending the reproductive lifespan, creating sperm and eggs from ordinary skin cells, freezing and freeze drying of tissue and cells, ovarian tissue freezing, and egg freezing.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) - are we finally reaching our aims?

Here we give some comments on a session in the upcoming meeting of BCGIP in Nov. 21 – 24 2013 in Shanghai. An international panel will answer that question.

See: http://www.bcgip.com/china/topics.aspx

In preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) we have to differentiate between classical PGD and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). The indication of the first is hereditary disease in the parents which they want to avoid in their offspring. In Germany e. g. 100 clinical cases per year are expected. From these epidemiological few cases we have to differentiate the indication for the second which is sterility of the parents in the absence of known hereditary disease.

Syndrome (PCOS) – Discussion of the Three Diagnostic Criteria

Syndrome (PCOS) – Discussion of the Three Diagnostic Criteria.

PCOS was considered to be a poorly understood reproductive disorder characterized by hyperandrogenism, anovulatory infertility, and polycystic ovarian morphology (PCO) until the 1980s when it was discovered that the syndrome was also associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. It became apparent that the effective study of PCOS required standardized diagnostic criteria, an issue of that was addressed in 1990 at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Conference on PCOS. This conference was a meeting of experts who discussed various features of the syndrome. Participants were asked to vote on potential diagnostic features, including androgen excess, menstrual dysfunction, disordered gonadotropin secretion, and insulin resistance. Those features receiving the most votes, hyperandrogenism and chronic anovulation, with the exclusion of secondary causes, became what are known as the NICHD or NIH criteria and are inaccurately referred to as consensus criteria.

Summary of Hong Kong Meeting Feb 1-3, 2013, "Preservation of Fertility in Cancer Patients" Chaired by Dr Milton Leong from Hong Kong and Professor Sherman Silber from the USA

This was a unique gathering of East and West of the greatest scientists and clinicians working on fertility preservation and stem cell biology to produce eggs and sperm (gametes),  This field of reproduction is looming as the major solution to the moderation of the explosive world wide infertility epidemic, as a method to maintain fertility into the later years when nowadays most people are ready to have a child, but cant because of the aging oocyte, or the absence of spermatogenesis.  It is perhaps the most difficult aspect of infertility medicine, but also the most promising.  The results of this very successful meeting indicate just how much progress we have made in pursuing this holy grail, of extending the reproductive lifespan, and of creating sperm and eggs from ordinary skin cells.

The 2003 Rotterdam Consensus Criteria Put in Perspective

Like any other syndrome, PCOS is a complex of symptoms of unknown etiology. Such conditions are heterogeneous by nature, and the identification of useful diagnostic criteria poses a major challenge. A novel test aiming to identify a disease is usually assessed by its capacity to ascertain the absence or presence of this illness. In any syndrome, a gold standard for the condition to be identified is absent, rendering the usual assessment of sensitivity and specificity of clinical tests elusive. Hence, the debate regarding criteria for PCOS diagnosis seems to come down to which end point of the syndrome is considered most relevant and whether to be inclusive or exclusive. 

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