Andreas SCHMUTZLER (Germany)
PD Dr. med. habil. Andreas G. Schmutzler is a gynaecologist and lawyer, specialist in reproductive medicine, and lecturer, at the Women’s Hospital of the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany and at the private IVF centre gyn-medicum in Goettingen, Germany. He studied law in Bonn, Germany and Geneva, Switzerland, worked as an interpreter for German, English and French, studied human medicine in Bonn, worked two years for electives and research in Norfolk, VA and New York, NY, USA. He got the first baby with assisted fertilization in Germany and established one of the first labs for polar body screening in Germany. He published more than 300 articles and talks, is founding member of the German Society of Reproductive Biology of the Human, member of the Commissions for Strategy and Billing of the Federal Association of the German IVF Centres, member of the ESHRE PGD Consortium and the ESHRE Task Force on PGS. He participated in several projects of the European Commission on the interface of reproductive medicine and genetics and of the ESHRE on Preimplantation Genetic Screening. He also runs, together with his wife Dr. Monica Tobler, the International School of Medicine with practical courses in reproductive medicine for gynaecologists.
Appraisal on PGS Techniques
We must differentiate PGS, i. e. Preimplantation Genetic Screening, from PGD, i. e. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. In PGS the patients suffer from sterility but do not have specific genetic problems. They just want to improve their chance for a successful sterility treatment. In PGD the patients have got specific genetic problems but mostly no sterility problem. They want to improve their chance for a healthy child. So in PGS we look for general genetic risks in gametes or embryos, whereas in PGD we additionally look for specific genetic risks transferred from the parents to their gametes or embryos.
Both methods are in use globally. So we will discuss theory (1.) and practice of PGS (2.) worldwide and will show quantity and quality of PGS, by methods and results, in terms of clinics, embryology and genetics. After this we will draw conclusions (3.).
1. For theory: What is the theoretical basis for PGS? What are our clinical, embryological and genetic aims? By which means do we intend to reach them? What is the probability of reaching them?
2. For practice: How many cases are published in registries? Clinically, what are the indications, which one is dominating, and why? Embryologically, which entities are analyzed, what are the biopsy methods, which one is dominating, and why? Genetically, what are the genetic methods, which one is dominating, and why? What are the results, respectively?
3. For conclusions: How widespread are the methods in use? Which one seems to be most accepted? Which one seems to be best proven? Which one seems to be most promising?