You may not know this, but October is a big month for the world of assisted reproductive technology. Each year, in October, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) holds their annual educational meeting – the ASRM Scientific Congress and Expo. At this meeting, leaders in the field present groundbreaking research aimed at educating providers and improving patient outcomes (those are good things!). Every year, the CooperSurgical Fertility and Genomics Solutions team attends this meeting with our own research to share. Like with so many things in 2020, this year’s conference was conducted virtually given the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the change of venue did not change our enthusiasm and we were proud to share our research and learn from others as virtual attendants. Here is a glance at some of the information we presented.
CooperSurgical made our most exciting announcement in conjunction with New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center. NYU presented data for their patients who completed PGT-A utilizing standard analysis, those who had PGT-A via the PGTai 1.0 platform, and those with PGT-A via the PGTai 2.0 platform. The results were remarkable – they found their patients who completed PGT-A evaluation via PGTai 2.0 rather than via prior methodologies, had higher ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates (70.3% compared to 62%)1. There were additional findings in this study as well – patients who completed PGT-A via the PGTai 2.0 platform had an increase in implantation rate, an increase in clinical pregnancy rate, a decrease in biochemical pregnancy loss rate, and a decrease in the rate of miscarriage1. The takeaway message – the technology platform used for PGT-A matters!
ERPeakSM Endometrial Receptivity Test
In keeping with improving patient outcomes, data was presented from the Reproduction Clinic Osaka and the Reproduction Clinic Tokyo for patients who completed embryo transfer after utilizing ERPeak to identify their window of implantation (WOI). They found 42% of women with two or more unsuccessful embryo transfers had a shifted WOI2, meaning at the time an embryo transfer is usually performed, their uterine lining was not receptive. When the timing of embryo transfer was adjusted for the patient’s personal WOI, implantation and pregnancy rates were similar to those in women with a typical receptive WOI2. This data supports that, for women with multiple unsuccessful embryo transfers, evaluation of their WOI may be appropriate.
Our CooperSurgical genetic counseling team is always working to better understand our patients and how we may facilitate their understanding of their preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) journey. In keeping with this goal, our genetic counseling team presented data from two studies, aimed at understanding the importance of PGT to patients and at determining if a digital tool may facilitate patient understanding of PGT.
One study evaluated the importance of pursuing PGT as part of patients’ decision to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as how helpful genetic counseling is in the PGT process. We found that a patient’s perception of the importance of PGT in their IVF journey appears to be related to the type of PGT they are pursuing. Those pursuing PGT-M and PGT-SR ranked PGT as a “very important” factor in their decision to pursue IVF. In addition, patients interested in PGT-M and PGT-SR were more likely to pursue IVF and PGT without insurance coverage compared to patients pursuing PGT-A. Approximately 90% (149/164)3 of patients who received PGT genetic counseling with CooperGenomics ranked it as “useful” or “very useful,” highlighting the importance of this service as part of the IVF and PGT journey.
A second study evaluated the effectiveness of digital tools used to facilitate patient education of the PGT process. Patients considering PGT were provided a 15-minute video module about preimplantation genetic testing consisting of five sections. Following each section, patients completed questions to assess their understanding. We found that more patients indicated they knew what to expect before, during, and after their treatment after viewing the video modules (88% vs. 50%).4 Furthermore, 97%4 of patients felt the video modules were a helpful addition to their care. This highlights the potential for digital tools to supplement patient education of PGT. These digital tools provide patients the opportunity to learn at their own pace while also allowing clinicians to more effectively tailor their in-person patient conversations. This gives patients the confidence to make informed decisions about their healthcare.
As you can see, pandemic or no pandemic, we are busy at CooperSurgical! We remain committed to innovating our product line and improving patient outcomes. We cannot wait to see what the next year will bring. With any luck, we will see you in-person next year in Baltimore!
1Buldo-Licciardi J, Large M, McCulloh D, McCaffrey C, Grifo JA. Second generation artificial intelligence technology for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) improves pregnancy outcomes in single thawed euploid embryo transfer cycles (STEET). American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Scientific Congress and Expo. 2020.
2Ohara Y, Matsubayashi H, Yamaguchi K, Doshida M, Kitaya K, Takeuchi T, Ishikawa T. First clinical outcomes after personalized embryo transfer using the new endometrial receptivity test in recurrent implantation failure patients. P-351. American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Scientific Congress and Expo. 2020.
3Garbarini J, Discenza M, Nusblat D. Not all preimplantation genetic testing is created equal: evaluating patient opinions based on test type. American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Scientific Congress and Expo. 2020.
4Sehnert S, Yarnall S, Aziz SA, Lin P, Saketos M, Nusblat D. Optimizing provider and patient experience: an analysis of an online tool for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) pre-test education. American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Scientific Congress and Expo. 2020.