First UK baby screened for cancer due
The birth of the first baby in the UK to be screened free of a breast cancer inherited gene will be born soon.
The treatment which sees a planned pregnancy approach with embryos containing the gene for breast cancer discarded offers hope for families that have exhibited the breast cancer gene with generations of women in the family suffering from the disease.
An unborn baby that has been genetically screened to be free of an inherited form of breast cancer, is due to be born "imminently" in London. The pregnancy is the result of an embryo screening technique, that has never previously been applied in the UK, to prevent parents passing on the disease to their offspring.
If the couple had conceived naturally and the baby had inherited the altered version of the gene, called BRCA1, it would have had an 80% chance of developing breast cancer and a 60% chance of ovarian cancer. By screening embryos during IVF, doctors could be sure the child will be free of the mutation.
Dr Paul Serhal, of University College Hospital, who carried out the screening, said the technique offered hope for families who have suffered repeated cases of inherited breast cancer. "All these couples have a very strong family history of breast cancer," he said, "You have certain couples who have been plagued by this for generations." He refused to give any details about the mother who has requested to remain anonymous, but it is believed that she is aged 27