New research may explain why taking progesterone to prevent preterm birth is only effective for some women.
The drug, 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (or 17P), a synthetic form of the progesterone hormone naturally produced during pregnancy, has been demonstrated in clinical trials to prevent some recurrent preterm births – but not all.
‘This study helps strengthen the theory that genetic variation in the human progesterone receptor plays an important role in the effectiveness of 17P,’ states Tracy Manuck, M.D., study author and SMFM member.
Women who have a spontaneous preterm delivery are at greatly increased risk of preterm delivery in subsequent pregnancies.
‘Dr. Manuck’s research gives us a tantalizing clue as to why 17P works for some women, but not for others,’ said Alan R. Fleischman, M.D., senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes. ‘With further research along these lines, we hope to someday be able to prevent preterm birth from happening in the first place by screening women before they get pregnant, and identifying those whose babies could get a healthy start in life with the help of 17P.’
Release Date: January 30, 2009
Source: March of Dimes
Filed Under: Genomics/Proteomics