The application of pharmacogenetics to ovarian stimulation will specially benefit women with low ovarian response.
What is pharmacogenetics?
There are many variables that can modify the effects of the drugs on each person and, among them, there are genetic factors. In recent years it became evident that the genetic profile of patients can explain the differences in response to drugs between different individuals. The area that studies the correlation between genetics and diversity of response to drugs is called pharmacogenetics.
Reproductive medicine and pharmacogenetics
In IVF cycles, patients undergo ovarian stimulation and are given gonadotropins. This family of drugs (hormones) are able to promote the growth of the ovarian follicles. In many patients the response to gonadotropins is not optimal despite having received a standard dose.
One of the challenges we have faced in the field of reproductive medicine was to develop new diagnostic tests that would allow us to personalize the stimulation protocol according to the patient’s genetics, so that the dose and type of gonadotropin to be administered is individually optimized.
IBGenFIV: Pharmacogenetics in Instituto Bernabeu
In the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology of Instituto Bernabeu we have identified and characterized genetic variants that are associated with the response to ovarian stimulation. These genetic variants correspond to changes in the genetic code that alter the patient’s response to gonadotropins. These modifications occur in genes that are important in the growth and maturation of the oocytes such as the receptors for FSH hormones, androgens, oestrogens and the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH). IBGenFIV is a diagnostic test performed by our patients before starting an IVF cycle in order to know the genetic profile on which the design of the best stimulation protocol is based.
Low ovarian response
IBGenFIV is a pharmacogenetic strategy especially relevant for the patients with a low ovarian reserve and/or response in previous IVF cycles. These patients may benefit from pharmacogenetics to achieve a greater number of mature oocytes and increase the chances of achieving an ongoing pregnancy. After performing this diagnostic test, the gynaecologist may indicate the most suitable stimulation protocol after analysing the patient’s genetic profile.
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