PGDIS Newsletter, November, 2016

Dear Colleague,

The 16th International conference on Preimplantation Genetics will be organized in Valencia, Spain, March 26-29, 2017 (see PGDIS website , and Conference website

The Scientific Program of the Conference (see Provisional Program on the above websites) will, as usual, concentrate on a few major areas of PGD progress - those areas with the potential to make an important impact on the evolving PGD standards and its wider application to the ART and genetic practices. For the first time the approaches for the prospective identification of at- risk PGD couples will be addressed, based on the available personalized or extended gene testing panels, or the testing of the sperm and egg donors. Among the other major areas to review are intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the origin of aneuploidy, including common chromosomal variants and genetic polymorphisms, the controlled ovarian stimulation modalities, embryo culture conditions, lifestyle and environment.

As stated in the recent PGDIS Position Statement on Mosaicism (, the biological significance and clinical impact on PGD outcome of this phenomenon, as well as the practical clinical relevance of segmental aneuploidy observations, both detected by the application of the next generation technologies, are not yet understood. To address this, a specific session in the program will allow the working out of updated recommendations for interpretation and counseling of the patients with such variations detected in the NGS based 24 chromosome preimplantation aneuploidy testing.

Other important aspects of PGD to be reviewed will be the factors contributing to the outcome of transfer of euploid embryos, with mounting evidence suggesting that the outcome of preimplantation aneuploidy testing may not solely depend on avoiding the nuclear abnormalities of the embryo, but may also be influenced by cytoplasmic DNA contents, follicular environment and genetic expression related to euploid oocyte competence, as well as by endometrial receptivity.

Finally, with the current expansion of PGD indications beyond traditional conditions, the emphasis of a special session will be on the borderline indications, such as PGD for inherited cancers and preimplantation HLA typing. This approach has been seen to be a valid option to improve the access to HLA matched stem cells transplantation treatment for congenital and acquired conditions, for which no treatment regiments are yet readily available. Among novelties to be reviewed, will be the progress in the development of different non-invasive approaches to PGD, and its follow up by non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

Due to the continuous developments in the next generation sequencing technologies applied to preimplantation 24-chromosome aneuploidy testing, a Pre-Congress Workshop on this topic will be organized (March 26, 2017), in collaboration with Illumina. Also a Post-Congress Hands-On Workshop on PGD for Monogenic and Chromosomal Disorders by Blastocyst Biopsy will be organized, March 31-April 2, 2017, as usual at the PGD Center of Istanbul Memorial Hospital, to provide continued support to the shift from the cleavage stage to blastocyst biopsy, combined with novel methods for genetic testing (see the program at the PGDIS website,

The Congress will be hosted by IGENOMIX, Valencia, one of the leading PGD Centers in Europe, which is also among the pioneers of some aspects of PGD related research. As with the previous Chicago and Bologna Conferences, registration fees are kept at the lowest rates possible, with the early-bird registration and abstract submission now open (

The progress in the organization of the Conference may be followed in the PGDIS websites (

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Valencia!

Anver Kuliev, MD, PhD
Svetlana Rechitsky, PhD
Executive Director of PGDIS President of PGDIS