The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is responsible for regulating infertility treatment in the UK. Their expert panel got together and made the difficult decision that, although three-parent IVF is considered to be a safe option, there is still a lack of information and data and the treatment will not be allowed to turn into medical practice. Not just yet, anyway. The expert panel concluded that there is no evidence that the techniques are unsafe, and that they are optimistic about three-parent IVF for the future. But they added: "Nevertheless, these techniques are relatively novel, especially applied to human embryos, and with relatively few data to provide robust evidence on safety. The panel therefore urges that additional research be undertaken to provide further safety information and knowledge."
Mitochondrial disorders are relatively rare, but can be extremely serious. Thew new treatment swaps around female DNA chains to avoid passing on the genes that cause these disorders. It will be very interesting to see how the three-parent IVF techniques develop in the future and whether they will help couples have babies that do not carry the genes. Watch this space! We will bring you regular updates about any decisions made in regard to the treatment.