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Ten Thousand Dreams Come True Through NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's IVF Program

One of the World's Most Successful IVF Clinics Marks a Major Milestone

Mothers, Fathers, and their Kids Join Physicians and Staff to Celebrate Parenthood

NEW YORK (Oct 14, 2004)

The arrival of fraternal twins from Long Island, NY, marked the birth of the 10,000th (and one) baby successfully conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) at the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CRMI) at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, one of the few centers worldwide to achieve such a milestone. Helping couples make their dreams of becoming parents a reality has been the cornerstone of the Center since its inception in 1989.

Over four hundred parents and their children joined CRMI physicians and staff to celebrate their personal miracles at a party held yesterday at The Powerhouse at the American Museum of Natural History to mark this momentous occasion.

"The desire to have a baby is one of life's most important and exciting decisions. We are thrilled to be marking this important milestone, and helping couples realize their dream of becoming parents," says Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, and the Revlon Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

Couples from across the nation and abroad have come to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's CRMI for treatment, and the Center has consistently achieved among the highest success rates in the world. Dr. Rosenwaks, a world authority on reproductive endocrinology and infertility and a pioneer in assisted reproductive technologies, was part of the medical team that successfully used in vitro fertilization for the first time in the U.S. in 1981.

Fertility Breakthroughs at the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

Since its inception in 1989, the Center has pioneered several breakthroughs in reproductive technologies that have greatly improved the odds of couples achieving successful pregnancies and births.

  • In 1992, the first successful "embryo biopsy" pregnancy and birth in the U.S. — a technology, used in conjunction with IVF, that screens embryos for certain genetic diseases before reimplantation in the uterus is achieved
  • In 1995, refined the sperm retrieval procedures for men who have no sperm in their ejaculate
  • In 1999, achieved the first successful embryo biopsy using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for sickle cell anemia which resulted in the birth of healthy twins
  • In 2003, achieved the first embryo obtained from frozen ovarian tissue which was re-implanted after thawing under the abdominal skin of breast cancer patient
  • In 2003, researchers demonstrated that the anti-cancer drug, tamoxifen, can help boost fertility in breast cancer patients
  • In 2004, successfully employed preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for retinoblastoma, resulting in the world's first babies born free of the deadly eye cancer
  • One of the world's premier centers for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

"One in every six couples of childbearing age has difficulty conceiving on their own. Through the tireless work of our physicians and scientists, our IVF Center continues to help couples beat the odds and take part in the miracle of birth. We congratulate them on this outstanding achievement," says Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

"Through a unique collaboration between CRMI's clinical practice and research scientists, our Center has pioneered a great number of fertility breakthroughs that have made IVF safer and more successful. These developments have led to this important milestone," says Dr. Antonio M. Gotto, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College.

"With access to the finest medical professionals, treatment capabilities, and patient support programs available, couples at CRMI have the best possible chance of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby," says Dr. Frank Chervenak, Obstetrician and Gynecologist-in-Chief and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

In a typical IVF procedure, a woman is treated with fertility drugs to regulate her menstrual cycle and stimulate the development of multiple eggs. This process helps to ensure that a sufficient number of healthy eggs are available for fertilization. Eggs are then "retrieved" and prepared for insemination, using sperm from the male partner or, when needed, a sperm donor. Fertilization occurs in a laboratory dish specially prepared with a culture medium that supports and nourishes the fertilized eggs, and within three to five days the developing embryos are transferred into the woman's uterus.

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