June 20, 2003

Strauss appointed to ART Children’s Health Panel

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Strauss appointed to ART Children’s Health Panel

Dr. Arnold Strauss, medical director at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and James C. Overall Professor and Chairman of Pediatrics for VUMC, is one of five members chosen to serve on the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Children’s Health Panel to examine the health concerns with these and other techniques.

More than 1 million children worldwide have been born using high-level assisted reproductive technologies, like in vitro fertilization. However, when a few studies came out suggesting a small, but significant increase in the risk of cancer, genetic diseases and birth defects among these children, parents became alarmed.

Members were selected for their leading expertise in the areas of pediatrics, obstetric/gynecology, epidemiology or genetics.

The panel will assess the risks of assisted reproductive technologies and evaluate studies involving children born using ART. In vitro fertilization is probably the best-known technique, but the panel will also look at intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a technique where sperm is injected into the egg before implantation, and techniques that involve frozen embryos.

The panel will then determine if current scientific data is conflicting or inconclusive and will make recommendations for future research.

The Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University is partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine to form the ART Children’s Health Panel.

“I am excited to be involved in a topic that is so important to the American people,” said Strauss, who is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Research. “Assisted reproductive technology is growing at a rapid rate as infertility rates rise, but the question about possible effects on children later in life is an important concern for parents.”