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expert reaction to study looking at a diabetes drug and recurrent miscarriages

Research, published in EBioMedicine, reports that a drug typically used to treat diabetes may also be used to prevent miscarriage. 


Dr Jane Stewart, Chair, British Fertility Society, said:

“It is heartening to see excellent research into the function of endometrial cells and their role in miscarriage. Building on their huge expertise in endometrial function Prof Brosen’s group have undertaken to looked at the direct tissue effects of a potential intervention for recurrent pregnancy loss.  Understanding the basic science behind an intervention is key to successful introduction – it allows trials to be undertaken rationally. They have shown a change in the lining of the womb of some women that can be modified by a well-accepted medication which may become the way forward for that group of women to improve their chance of pregnancy success.  This allows for the potential of a proper trial of medication for that group to see whether or not this benefit materialises on clinical application.

“For patients, the lack of treatment to prevent recurrent miscarriage is frustrating. The clinical trial planned to test this repurposed drug will be important – the promise of a treatment for miscarriage based on solid fundamental science deserves a large and effective clinical trial. As a clinician, I hope that my patients will be involved, and it would be great if colleagues follow suit.”


Prof Andrew Shennan, Professor of Obstetrics, King’s College London (KCL), said:

“This is a well conducted, study from a credible group of scientists with novel findings. This is an exciting finding that suggests a drug may be able to improve the environment in the womb for some women with recurrent pregnancy losses.

“The numbers are small and don’t represent most women who have miscarriages, the participants studied were at very high risk for recurrent miscarriage. This drug would not benefit most women with miscarriages but could be promising for those with many losses due to a specific problem of hostile response to the baby that occurs in a few women. It does need more women to be studied but looks promising.”


‘Impact of sitagliptin on endometrial mesenchymal stem-like progenitor cells: A randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled feasibility trial’ by Tewary et al. was published in EBioMedicine at 09:30 UK time on Thursday 9th January. 

DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.102597


Declared interests

Dr Jane Stewart: No conflicts

None others received.

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