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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

My mind has been in overdrive about NK cells - was wondering if any of you will be able to answer my questions?

1. Do the clinics that do NK cell testing in UK all use the same standard tests (The Lister, ARGC, Care and DR *******) Im not sure if there are other clinics? ie if I had the NK test at The Lister and then had them done at ARGC would the results be the same (if I had the test done on the same day as I understand NK cells fluctuate)? DO they use the same treatments (steriods, IVIG, Humira) of do they differ?

2. Do you know of IVF clinics that treat NK cells in the US or Europe? Do you know if Cornells has a policy on NK cells? And if they do treat (them or the other clinics) what protocols to they treat NK cells with?

3. Have studies been done on pregnant women (who can conceive naturally and low miscarriage risk)- testing there NK cells from time of BFP throughout pregnancy who have received no treatment ? compared to a group of women with known immune problems and previous history of miscarriage?  Im aware of the study being done at Liverpool hospital but not of others..

Would be grateful to have some info on this.... not going down this route yet... just wanting some info...

Thanks Debs 
 

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Hi Debs
I can only comment on Dr ******* really, so hopefully other people might be able to fill in the gaps.
He did 4 blood tests (which I believe are pretty standard wherever you go), which came to approx £400. Prices seem to vary enormously depending on where you have the tests as some clinics send the tests abroad. They were NK cells, lupus anti-coagulant, Factor V Leidin and anticardiolipid antibodies. I was found to have high and aggressive NK cells but the other tests were fine. for this,  Mr ******* treats with steroids (two weeks on two weeks off until pg then for 3 months) and aspirin. If I become pg, I will have to take heparin for 3 months. I've read about IVIG at some clinics, and he believes it's unnecessary, expensive and risky, and does pretty much the same job as the steroids, but every clinic has its own views of course. He recommends the Lister for IVF, so I would imagine their opinions are the same or similar to his.
Check out his website anyway. What you have to remember is that the research is still in the very early stages (although apparently much bigger in the US)
Lou
 

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The immune tests differ from clinic to clinic. ARGC, I think, still uses the "chicago tests" -- ie the tests designed by Dr Beer. Dr ******* uses different tests. They test for different types of immune problems -- I'd have to look through lots of notes to be able to identify the differences for you. Beer's website has some pretty detailed information about the tests he recommends. You could also look at http://www.inciid.org (a US-based website for fertility support. Some of the doctors who answer questions on this site used to be colleagues of Beer before he set up on his own). INCIID has some useful information, including quite a bit of information about NK testing. I think Dr *******'s website lists the blood tests he uses. If you look at all these sites, you can then compare the different tests. In addition to some of the tests being different there are -- obviously -- differences in the labs. Even if the exact same tests were done by, for example, ******* and Beer, you might get different results simply because of the differences in lab techniques. Directionally, though, I would think that all the tests should be similar (ie in terms of identifying whether or not you have an immune problem which might impede fertility).
As for US clinics -- I think there are many that treat immune issues. Dr Sher has several clinics across the country that treat immune issues and I'm sure there are many others (ie Dr Coulam from the INCIID team). I don't know about Cornell -- if you look on the website I'm sure you can find out.
Your last question is a very interesting one. I have searched for studies and have not found any. When I became pregnant last year (following 3rd ivf), i asked to be retested for NK cells. My levels were significantly increased from my pre-pregnancy levels. I tried to find out whether this was "normal" or not -- ie what happens to NK levels in the peripheral blood among "non-immune" women during pregnancy. I could not find any information. I decided not to pursue any further treatment other than steroids and clexane (ie decided not to have ivig) and my healthy son is now 15 months old. If you do find any information about NK cells in non-immune pregnant women, please post it as I would be very interested to read it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Lou and LVD

Thanks so much for all this info...

If I find out any more about NK cells in non-immune pregnant women I will let you know

All the best Debbie
 

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My understanding is that the reason NK cells results are so controversial and the NHS are sceptical of the findings is because to date there are no trials or scientific findings been done.

Liverpool Hosp, Dr Quenby has recently announced that they are starting a trial, but until recently Dr Quenby was reportedly anti NK cells results tests.

I believe they only consider testing you if you have had multiple known m/c or several failed IVF implantations.  The test is not offered as a matter of course.  My Clinic never suggested it and I done the research and took myself off testing.  I did have to give my history though to presumably warrant the need for such tests.

It is all a relatively new discovery and it seems no time has been allowed or set up for trials.

There seem to be two trains of thought one is that because the blood cells fluctuate and are throughout the system this can give an inaccurate result.  So the other theory is that a biopsy should be taken from the lining of the uterus, because this will give an exact number of cells in the appropriate place.  This is obviously more invasive, expensive etc.

I done loads of research on the net about NK cells, and all the findings I could find where that the women went onto have successful pregs.  In particular one woman had some 19 m/c and now has a baby.

On one of the msg boards here I did read of a girl saying that she had taken these drugs and it hadn't worked for her, but then she admitted that she hadn't been tested either.

I was tested by Dr ******* at his Harley St Clinic.

Sue
 
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