The Expert's View : Professor Richard Fleming

The Scientific Director of the GCRM comments on the new drug Kisspeptin and developments in IVF

A new discovery of the hormone Kisspeptin has been widely quoted in the press in articles such as this one on the BBC, as being a major breakthrough in IVF.  

I asked Professor Richard Fleming to share some insights on how it might benefit patients and whether the claims made for Kisspeptin are valid.  He says:

I think Kisspeptin as it has been used so far, will have negligible influence on any part of the IVF world as it is today.  We already have a means of stimulating LH release over a short period of time at the end of the stimulation phase which effectively eliminates OHSS risk & uses drugs that are already commercially available, and relatively cheap.  We know when we can use them and how.

He goes on to say

Kisspeptin has a long way to go in all these practicalities, and we have no idea of the costs.

As with any new treatment, further tests and trial are required but new developments often result in greater understanding of the body's processes.  Prof Fleming says:

Kisspeptin’s ability to stimulate the release of LH over a short period of time is useful knowledge. But as for general progress in the IVF field, I would be looking at the time-lapse imaging systems as the next practical step.
The ability to identify normal, viable embryos – and possibly more importantly the non-viable embryos, with confidence, will improve the efficiency of IVF significantly.  If we do not freeze (vitrify) non-viable embryos, then the patient can move forward to try again more rapidly, or at least make life-project decisions with better evidence behind them.