Stanford REI Awarded NIH Supplement To Support Diversity Efforts in Miscarriage Research

The Stanford-based multisite TRIOS (Trio analysis of Recurrent pregnancy loss Integrated bioinformatics GenOmics Study; PI: Ruth Lathi, MD) research study was recently awarded an NIH supplement to make concerted efforts to increase racial and ethnic diversity in its participant pool.

Based within Stanford Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division, TRIOS investigates genetic causes of unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. Through the supplement, co-led by Christy Tise, MD, PhD (Medical Genetics), and Katherine Bianco, MD (Obstetrics and Gynecology), the study team will engage community members, provide translated materials and translation services, and expand outreach to satellite clinics and Stanford Medicine’s Perinatal Diagnostic Centers.

Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) affects up to 5% of couples, yet nearly half of cases remain unexplained by current testing recommendations. The genetic causes of RPL are poorly understood, which limits providers' ability to diagnose fertility-related health conditions, provide recurrent risk counseling, and develop therapeutics to improve outcomes for families experiencing these devastating outcomes.

Through this supplement, TRIOS will be providing educational materials in Spanish and English to the community, as well as genetic counseling to participants. By talking and educating patients and healthcare providers about miscarriage in underserved communities, awareness about genetic testing and treatment options for women and families experiencing miscarriage will increase.

Historically, genetic studies of human disease have lacked the same level of diversity that is reflected in the human population. Underrepresentation of individuals of non-European ancestry has limited the understanding of genetic disease in humans and has led to significant ancestry-based health inequities. Increased diversity in genomic research has been shown to increase genetic discovery and reduce health disparities.

“Casting a wide net for participants in the TRIOS study will not only increase the potential to identify novel genes and pathways associated with recurrent pregnancy loss, but also models a concerted effort to increase diversity in genetic studies while providing equitable and personalized care to all,” says Tise, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Medical Genetics.

The supplemental funding will allow the study team to coordinate a number of wrap-around activities to better reach the diverse patient population locally in Northern California and at partner sites. These include:

  • Unstructured focus groups with community physicians and front-line community healthcare workers to understand the threats and opportunities in enrolling their patients in research studies.
  • Reducing financial and transportation barriers to participation by conducting enrollment and collection of samples by mail.
  • Ensuring research materials are accessible in Spanish, with bilingual staff are available to support families throughout all study phases.
Reaching a Spanish-speaking population of families experiencing infertility issues will allow our research team to communicate with patients in their preferred language...

An advocate for the Hispanic and Latinx patient population in California, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Bianco shares that, “Reaching a Spanish-speaking population of families experiencing infertility issues will allow our research team to communicate with patients in their preferred language, reduce the gap in health disparities, and address this important topic among members of a Hispanic heritage population, one that has historically been underserved and understudied.”

Those enrolled in TRIOS receive genetic test results that are deemed actionable. This is a unique aspect of this study, as it provides research participants a direct and personalized benefit for participation.

Ruth Lathi, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Principal Investigator of the parent study TRIOS, says, “I am thrilled that the supplement will provide valuable insights into best practices for expanding geographic, socio-economic, and ancestral diversity in reproductive and genetic research.”

If you and your partner have experienced pregnancy loss, join our study and be a part of our efforts to explain and predict recurrent pregnancy loss.

Si has tenido una perdida y quieres apreder mas del tema, vea a nuestra website. Si estas embarazada y tienes una perdida podemos ayudarte a enternder las caussa de una perdida.