Baby to be born free of breast cancer after embryo screening

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London, June 29 : A woman is pregnant with the UK's first baby guaranteed to be free from hereditary breast cancer.

Doctors screened out from the woman's embryos an inherited gene that would have left the baby with a high chance of developing the cancer, reports Times Online.

The woman decided to undergo the treatment after members of her family tested positive for the gene and a history of the disease in her family.

The couple produced several embryos, of which five were found to be free from the gene.

Two of these were implanted in the woman's womb and she is now 14 weeks pregnant.

By screening out embryos carrying the gene, called BRCA-1, the couple, from London, will eliminate the hereditary disease from their lineage.

According to doctors, thousands of cases of breast cancer could be avoided by screening embryos using the technique called preimplantation diagnosis (PGD).

The 27-year-old mother, who asked not to be named, said: "For the past three generations, every single woman in my husband's family has had breast cancer, as early as 27 and 29. We felt that, if there was a possibility of eliminating this for our children, then that was a route we had to go down.

"It has been successful for us which means we are eliminating the gene from our line.

"We had been through his sister being ill, so it was something we had seen first hand. I thought this was something I had to try because, if we had a daughter with the gene, and she was ill, I couldn't look her in the face and say I didn't try," she added.

The woman and her 28-year-old husband had to go through IVF even though they are fertile, in order to create embryos that could be screened.

ANI

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