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Designer Babies Free From Cancer

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Designer Babies Free From Cancer

A couple in Britain had the mothers embryos screened to remove the inherited breast cancer gene BRCA-1 from their future child.

A British couple has become the world’s first parents to have their baby screened to remove the hereditary breast cancer gene BRCA-1.

designer baby free from breast cancer Designer Babies Free From Cancer

The expectant parents: a 27-year-old lady and her 28-year-old husband, decided to screen the mothers embryos to remove the inherited cancer causing gene because the babies father, his sister, mother, cousin and grandmother were all struck down by the life-threatening cancer.

The un-named mother said,

“For the past three generations, every single woman in my husband’s family has had breast cancer, as early as 27 and 29 … It has been successful for us which means we are eliminating the gene from our line.”

The mother is now 14 weeks pregnant after undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Of the 11 embryos that she produced, five did not carry the gene and two of these embryos were implanted.

Laurence Shaw, deputy medical director of the Bridge Fertility Centre in London, described the technique known as preimplantation diagnosis (PGD) to be,

“An exciting technological development…..
“[This] opens the door to a lot of questions about screening of diseases that might happen in the future”

However, Shaw also points out that,

“We should be aware that this does not mean that the baby born will be immune from breast cancer – it means that the baby with that gene has a decreased likelihood of having that cancer.”

The BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes are estimated to be responsible for at least 5% of the 44,000 breast cancer cases diagnosed each year in the Great Britain. Doctors now believe that screening embryos for these inherited cancer genes may help save thousands of people from the disease.

It is estimated that any daughter born with the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 gene would have had a 50% to 85% chance of developing breast cancer and although the technique does not guarantee immunity from the cancer, it certainly paves the way for new cancer prevention methods.

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