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Infertility researchers identify one gene's critical role in the human embryo implantation process

LOS ANGELES ( Embargoed Until Monday, Oct. 17, 2005 at Noon EDT) - In spite of advances in assisted reproductive technologies, more than 6.1 million women in the United States - roughly 20 percent of all women of reproductive age - suffer from infertility. In order to improve infertility treatments, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California at Los Angeles recently conducted a study of the molecular mechanism involved in the human implantation process, specifically targeting the role of one gene in the success of an embryo to implant itself in the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. The study is being presented at the Conjoint Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society Oct. 15-19, 2005, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

"There have been studies done both in the United States and Europe showing statistically that there is a defect in the implantation process in women with endometriosis, a condition affecting many premenopausal women who also suffer from infertility," explains Lee-Chuan Kao, MD, PhD., a reproductive medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai and co-director of the hospital's Center for Reproductive Medicine. "My interest was to determine exactly the molecular mechanism responsible for implantation failure."

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus grows outside the uterus, usually on the surfaces of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and other pelvic structures, making conception more difficult.

Cedars-Sinai is one of less than a half-dozen facilities in the United States trying to dissect the mechanism of human embryo implantation and its link to endometriosis. In this recent study, Kao, working with Margareta Pisarska, MD, co-director of Cedars-Sinai's Center for Reproductive Medicine, and Salma Khan, PhD, also of Cedars-Sinai, focused on one specific endometrial target gene (GlcNAc-6-OST) which h
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
1-800-880-2397
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
17-Oct-2005


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