Women all over the world should have the chance to live their best lives. And since good health is the best place to start, Roche is empowering women with the knowledge and tools they need to flourish.
All women should have control over their health, but they don’t always have the same access to healthcare—and access can be essential to saving or losing lives. Roche is, therefore, leading the way in the revolution for diagnostics that transform healthcare, making its reach more universal but its perspective more individual.
Our promise to women
We get closer every day to unlocking the mysteries of many women’s health concerns, but there have historically been gaps. Under the guise of modesty, female patients weren’t thoroughly examined, nor were women’s illnesses prioritized for study. Clinical trials focused mostly on men. And despite distinct male and female medical needs, even for sicknesses shared by both, gender-specific responses were disregarded when creating treatments and unraveling pathologies.
For these reasons, Roche is committed to innovations in diagnostics that enable women in their health journeys with the information they and their clinicians need to make treatment decisions that are right for them.
Real solutions to real problems
At Roche, we are achieving this goal by turning molecular research into tangible solutions. Our sequencing diagnostics have the power to generate vast amounts of personalized data, which can then be integrated with other patient information to provide a more complete health picture.
Providing physicians with decision support tools using this aggregated information can lead to intervention before symptoms present themselves and illness spreads.
Fertility issues are common and often treatable
Fertility issues affect 1 in 6 couples globally and can be a significant burden on couples in many ways, from psychological stress to the financial strain of high out-of-pocket costs of treatment. Male and female factors contribute equally to the ability to become pregnant. Understanding these factors encourages couples to make decisions about when to start planning for a family and the options available if there are fertility problems.
Diminished ovarian reserve is one of the major causes of infertility. As couples are waiting longer to have children, this becomes an important factor, as it is known that the ovarian follicle pool declines with age.
At birth, women have about two million eggs in their ovaries. This is all of the eggs they will make in their lifetime. As women age, the number of eggs suitable for a viable pregnancy decreases in quantity and quality. Ovarian reserve test results give insight into the remaining eggs and the number of fertile years a woman has left.
AMH testing can guide personalised fertility treatment
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is a very important and accurate marker of ovarian reserve. AMH testing can help physicians determine how many eggs remain in the ovaries and the likelihood of response to In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) drugs. AMH is produced in the growing follicles.
An AMH test is a simple blood test and can be undertaken at any time of the menstrual cycle. It can be performed in a lab, hospital or specialised clinic and quickly and accurately delivers clear and reliable measures of AMH levels. Results are automated and don’t rely on a sonographer’s reading, which is required with antral follicle count (AFC), another method used to assess ovarian reserve.
AMH testing helps doctors guide patients on the course of treatment to help maximise the chances of conception while minimizing cases of Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which may result in hospitalization and adverse events. New research is showing that it is possible to personalise the dosage of human recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (rFSH) to be administered to women who are having their eggs harvested for IVF based on a woman’s specific AMH level.8,9 This may allow more couples to conceive through IVF.
Preeclampsia affects about 8.5 million women a year globally or 1 in every 20 pregnancies. Worldwide, about 76,000 pregnant women die each year from preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders. An easy-to-use, the novel test has been developed that can predict which pregnant women with suspected preeclampsia will or will not develop the condition. With results that are over 99% accurate, doctors are given the confidence to send healthy women home safely and to focus care on patients more likely to develop preeclampsia.
Non-invasive testing for Down syndrome
Pregnant women are routinely encouraged to have screening for Down syndrome. Traditional screening tests miss one out of every four Down syndrome cases in pregnant women. However, a new, non-invasive DNA-based blood test that can be administered as early as 10 weeks in pregnancy has been shown to identify greater than 99% of cases and has a false-positive rate of less than 0.1%. This test limits the number of unnecessary invasive procedures such as amniocentesis which are associated with a risk of miscarriage.
Diagnostics relieve the uncertainties of pregnancy through to birth
Diagnostic testing is available throughout pregnancy, from planning to gestation and post-birth. Clinicians can use diagnostics to monitor infants and pregnant women for congenital, perinatal, and neonatal infections.
The accuracy of test results empowers healthcare professionals with valuable information to share with women and their partners and make informed clinical decisions.
With our advanced breast cancer diagnostics, we helped propel a portfolio of innovative treatments for an invasive cancer affecting more than 250,000 women around the world each year.
Bridge to a healthier future
We believe women everywhere should have access to precise information about their health as early as possible. Roche is committed to transforming healthcare to serve the women who need it and to provide the right diagnostics and decision support solutions so women can take charge of their health at every stage of their lives.
The value of diagnostics shines through in the way it improves the lives of millions of women around the world. Preventive screening, early detection, and guidance for personalized treatments help women thrive and be their best selves.
- European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
- RESOLVE. Infertility FAQ.
- CDC. ART National Summary Report 2015 (October 2017).
- Jirge PR. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2011;4(3):108-113.
- Maheshwari A et al. Hum Reprod. 2006;21(11):2729-2735.
- Grynnerup AG et al. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2014;26(3):162-167.
- Wallace WH et al. PLoS ONE. 2010;5(1):e8772.
- Andersen AN et al. Fertil Steril 2016, “Individualized versus conventional ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization: a multicenter, randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded, phase 3 noninferiority trial” (open access)
- Evidence-based Stimulation Trial With Human rFSH in Europe and Rest of World 2 (ESTHER-2).
- Telang MA et al. Placenta. 2013;34(1):2-8.
- Verlohren S et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010;202(2):161.e1-161.e11.
- Preeclampsia Foundation. Preeclampsia and Maternal Mortality: a Global Burden.
- Vatish M et al. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2016, “The sFlt-1/PlGF ratio test in preeclampsia: an economic assessment for the UK” (open access)
- Sillence KA et al. Non-Invasive Screening Tools for Down’s Syndrome: A Review. Diagnostics. 2013;3(2):291-314.
- Norton ME et al. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(17):1589-1597.