Beacon CAREunity is a test which identifies one of the causes of recurrent miscarriage and other placental problems.
Beacon CAREunity is a saliva swab test that can identify a key gene mutation which can cause miscarriage in early pregnancy.
Some couples attending for IVF may be carriers of this mutation. It can be simply identified with the saliva swab test and treated with medication.
In the last 10 years there is no other area of medicine that has progressed more rapidly than the assisted reproduction field relating to recurrent miscarriage.
One of the most exciting new developments is a test called Beacon CAREunity, which is also known as C4M2 Variant or Annexin A5 M2 Haplotype.
We always work hard to do everything possible to help our patients who may experience recurrent miscarriage.
Miscarriage is particularly distressing and our teams have been working on a test which we believe can identify one of the causes of recurrent miscarriage.
Beacon CAREunity is designed to help people who have experienced repeated unexplained miscarriages or unexplained implantation failure with IVF treatment. It looks at a genetic “mutation” or “variation” in a specific gene carried on chromosome no. 4.
That is where it gets the name C4M2. “C4” stands for chromosome no. 4 and “M2” is the name given to the variant at a specific location of this gene on chromosome 4.
The cells of our body usually have 23 pairs of chromosomes, including one of each pair from the egg and one from the sperm. Each chromosome carries the genes responsible for every function in our body, this is what keeps us alive and healthy.
The Annexin A5 gene
The Annexin A5 gene is partly responsible for normal clotting in our body and the presence of the variant gene can be associated with blood clotting disorders (sticky blood).
We have known for a number of years that increased clotting in the placenta can lead to miscarriage or implantation failure by reducing the blood flow to the embryo at a very early stage of its implantation in the womb.
It has also been shown that the presence of this gene in the embryo can cause other conditions from a poorly functioning placenta (due to micro-clots in the blood flow system between fetus and placenta) which can be associated with high blood pressure and small-for-dates babies.
What is new following the discovery of the Annexin A5 variant (C4M2) is that it is the presence of the variant gene in the embryo that can cause clotting problems – this is important because the embryo can inherit the variant gene from either the sperm provider or the egg provider.
How does the Beacon CAREunity test work?
This screening test can identify the presence of the Annexin A5 gene. If the gene is present in either the sperm of the egg provider then there is at least a 50% chance it will be present in the embryo.
Testing for it is simple, a swab is taken from the inside of the mouth of both partners and the results are available in about 3 weeks. If the Annexin A5 Variant is identified in either partner the woman having embryo transfer will be prescribed a blood thinning medication called Heparin, better known as Clexane.
This is an under the skin injection that starts at the time of embryo transfer and continues until at least 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The Beacon CAREunity test is available at our clinic. Contact us to find out more.
HFEA (UK) Comment
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the Fertility Treatment regulatory authority in the UK. HFEA believe that the best way to be certain that a treatment is powerful enough to be utilised regularly is to do a randomised controlled preliminary (RCT). In a RCT, patients are appointed to two gatherings at random: a treatment gathering, given the new treatment and a benchmark group, given either a working treatment or a placebo treatment.
The CAREunity test has not been dependent upon a Random Controlled Trial (RCT) and supporting proof is limited. It is imperitive that you talk about with Beacon CARE for suitability and if CAREUnity can be included with your treatment.