Causes & Treatment

Treating BCL6 leads to increased IVF success rates (and the data keeps piling)

Jessie Day, in partnership with ReceptivaDx™  |   19 Feb 2024

receptiva test positive

BCL6 & endometriosis – what to know in 2024

Right at the forefront of endometriosis treatment, is the testing that gets us there. On average, it takes 10 years to reach an endo diagnosis in the US (and 7.5 years in the UK). If you’re planning to start a family, and begin the process in your late 20s or early 30s – that’s the average age, currently – the timings just don’t work. 

Decoding your endometriosis, potentially over a decade of to-and-from diagnosis, needs not to be a thing, as we start looking to 2025 and beyond. So what’s the latest to know? And, which tests should we be pushing for, in the doctor’s office? 

We need – and are collectively asking for – a test which can identify endometriosis efficiently, even if we’re asymptomatic. From there (and see below for what’s new on treatment), we can build next steps, knowing whether endo is or isn’t part of our fertility profile. 

For team TRB, the search ends with ReceptivaDx, the only test that can identify one of the leading causes of unexplained infertility in a single sample including endometriosis. The test  looks  for a protein marker called BCL6, which identifies uterine lining inflammation most often associated with endometriosis, often asymptomatic (silent). 

Keen to check for BCL6? Skip straight to ReceptivaDx™ to learn more about the test or get a free  phone consultation to help answer all your questions…

BCL6 is found in more than 50 per cent of women with unexplained infertility and around 65 per cent of women with two or more IVF failures. TRB has posted many blogs on the test so for all the basics on this not-so-basic test, check our library for: 

Unexplained infertility – what next? Why BCL6 matters

BCL6 – fertility’s hidden puzzle piece?

Watch – the BCL6 masterclass Q&A

4 questions to ask your doctor, after an unexplained infertility ‘diagnosis’

Watch – asymptomatic or ‘silent’ endometriosis, and next steps

ReceptivaDx™ vs ERA testing – what’s the difference?  

The test can also work to detect progesterone resistance (a common reason why women fail IVF and have multiple miscarriages), and endometritis (a chronic bacterial infection causing inflammation), by checking for both BCL6 and CD138 markers, and provides a complete analysis of endometrial tissue, to support your provider during diagnosis. 

When endo goes untreated

Evidence surrounding the BCL6 endometriosis link has been published for over a decade. And, since ReceptivaDx™ was first offered as a test in 2017, upwards of 20,000 studied cases have aligned with this, showing the relationship between positive BCL6 and inflammatory conditions, including endometriosis. 

So far the data has shown that if endometriosis goes untreated, issues with fertility are likely to persist, even with IVF treatment. Women who test positive for BCL6 and don’t receive treatment are five times less likely to have a successful IVF than women who test negative. 

What does treatment look like?

For women who test positive for BCL6, two standout courses of action prove most effective for IVF outcomes (confirmed across thousands of cases):  

  • hormone treatment to suppress inflammation, and/or 
  • laparoscopic surgery to remove the problematic tissue 

Removing endometriosis around the endometrial lining has also proven to increase the chances of natural conception.

The data keeps piling up, in 2024

For anyone in our community navigating endo right now, the newest research from ReceptivaDx is potentially life-changing. 

As presented at the 2023 ASRM Congress & Expo at the end of last year, multi-center studies  from 12 centers – with almost 1,700 IVF patients participating – support the effectiveness of this unique test, and its justified reputation for identifying endometriosis – symptomatic or silent – and pathway building to treatment and successful live births. 

For context, previous studies in this area have involved fewer than 100 participants. In these most recent multi-center studies, there have been just under 1,700. 

The original published data in 2017 showed a 12 per cent chance of success if a patient tested positive for BCL6 and went untreated. That data was confirmed in a 2019 subsequent study, but also showed that after treatment for a positive result, the success rate jumped back up to 54 per cent on the next transfer. SInce then, study after study has replicated these findings, with live birth rates after treatment ranging from 54 to 65 per cent on the next transfer.  

With more studies going into publication at the time of writing, 2024 is set to be a break-through year for unexplained infertility treatment, and lowering rates of transfer failure.

bcl6 positive

What if I test negative for BCL6?

Coming out of testing as BCL6 positive may be game-changing. But, so too is testing negative. 

Instead of ambiguity – and a persistent feeling that undiagnosed endo may be at the root of your fertility struggle – testing as BCL6 negative gives you an assurance that uterine lining inflammation is not an issue for you, putting you in a higher probability of  success category, if you choose to go for IVF.

Multiple IVF failures are a red flag for potential endometriosis

There are many situations when the ReceptivaDx test is appropriate, but investigation after multiple IVF cycle failures is right at the top. A study of 4,000 patients with failure history and tested for BCL6 showed that the more failures, the more likely they’d test positive, and, therefore, likely have endometriosis. 

The percentages of positive BCL6 patients went from 51 per cent with one to two failures to over 70 per cent after five. 

Which centers?

Over 400 centers worldwide are now using the ReceptivaDx test regularly, with the list growing on a pretty-much daily basis. If you don’t see your center on the list here – or if you’re outside of the US and keen to discuss these options with your doctor – book a free phone consultation. The team are prepped to do the legwork to help you find a testing center. 

Keen to test? The ReceptivaDx approach for 2024 is simple. Learn, empower and advocate. Start getting answers to your questions, and organize your test today.

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