A previously infertile couple have become parents to a baby girl after undergoing a controversial treatment.
The treatment, called pronuclear transfer, involves the DNA from three parents being implanted into the mother. The technique has been approved in the UK to prevent diseases caused by faulty mitochondria. However, Ukraine doctors have used a similar method a fertility treatment, The BBC reports.
Doctors at Kiev’s Nadiya clinic fertilised the mother’s egg with the father’s sperm, and then implanted the cells into a donor egg, which had had most - but not all - of its DNA removed.
The 34-year-old mother successfully gave birth on January 5, 2017, after trying to conceive for more than ten years including four failed rounds of IVF.
Similarly, doctors in Mexico created a three-parent baby using a similar method.
The director of Kiev’s Nadiya clinic told The Times the technique could in future be used to help older women give birth using their own eggs, the BBC reports.
Dr Jane Stewart, Secretary of the British Fertility Society (BFS) and Consultant in Reproductive Medicine, said:
“This case in the Ukraine is unrelated to the work undertaken in the UK for the treatment for couples with mitochondrial disease. There is little or no evidence to support the use of mitochondrial transfer to improve egg or embryo quality or reverse egg ageing. There is certainly not enough research evidence available to justify its use in the clinical setting for improving IVF outcomes.”
In response, other experts questioning the treatment, Dr Valery Zukin, who led the work, said: "They are partly right. But how we could confirm the safety if we will not do this?"