MGZ – Medical Genetics Center
The MGZ – Medical Genetics Center Munich is a medical practice that performs molecular and cytogenetic analyses using the most modern diagnostic techniques. The MGZ distinguishes itself by the high level of expertise of its geneticists. Furthermore, the research into human genetics pursued in its cyto- and molecular genetics laboratories makes testing at the MGZ all the more valuable to patients and doctors.
In May 2000, the MGZ was certified by the German National Accreditation Body (DAkkS). According to the DAkkS, the MGZ meets all standards and fulfils all requirements in terms of both science and medicine.
Geneticists at the MGZ offer comprehensive counseling with regard to all questions in the field of human genetics and genetic diagnostics. The work carried out at the MGZ is always in accordance with the most up-to-date medical and scientific knowledge.
The purpose of every genetic counseling session is to assist patients in making important decisions regarding their health. To this end, the staff at the MGZ – Medical Genetics Center Munich strives with great care and precision to find potential genetic causes for concrete illnesses.
A genetic counseling session includes the following:
- Assessment of the patient’s personal history of the disease
- Assessment of the history of the disease in the patient’s family
- Examination of the patient’s symptoms (if present)
Based on the information gathered, geneticists can
- determine the probability of a hereditary disease;
- discuss with the patient and his/her relatives the possible options for genetic diagnosis;
- help the patient and his/her relatives make decisions regarding treatment.
Indications for genetic counseling:
Patients with the following indications, diseases, or complaints should consider making an appointment for genetic counseling and (if applicable) arrange for medical genetic testing:
- Muscular or neurodegenerative diseases and genetically-determined functional defects
- Complex diseases with a suspected genetic cause
- Congenital deformities
- Developmental delay
- Metabolic disorders
- Cancer in the family or suspicion of a hereditary cancer syndrome
- Inability to conceive a child or carry a child to term (recurrent miscarriage)
- (Planned) pregnancies
Example: hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
Hereditary Breast Cancer
We now know that a certain number of cancer syndromes are caused by monogenetic abnormalities. This means that hereditary cancer-causing mutations in a single gene may be the only cause of the disease. Breast and gastrointestinal cancers are the most common of these disorders. For example, a monogenetic cause is found in 10 % of all cases of breast cancer. An early age of onset or several first-degree relatives with cancer are especially indicative of a genetic cause.
Hereditary breast cancer is often the result of mutations in the two high-risk genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are also associated with a markedly increased risk of ovarian cancer. Approximately 1 in every 400 people is a carrier of such a mutation. Furthermore, a number of other genes have been identified in which mutations may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and/or other cancer syndromes. Genetic testing can provide clarification with regard to genetic predisposition and appropriate preventative care in individual cases.
Genetic counseling can be especially useful in the area of prenatal diagnosis. Prospective parents need to be given comprehensive information about the possibilities and limitations involved in genetic testing. Only when patients have all of the available information can they make an informed decision.
Genetic counseling before or during a pregnancy should be recommended particularly when:
- The prospective parents are relatively old
- Fetal abnormalities are seen in an ultrasound
- Family members are affected by a genetic disorder
- Teratogenic factors may affect the embryo (diseases, medication, radiation, chemical substances)
- In vitro fertilization is planned
In July 2015, the MGZ was granted permission by the Bavarian State Ministry for Health and Care to perform pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Since then, the MGZ has offered pre-implantation genetic testing to couples known to have a genetic predisposition for a severe hereditary disease known to be associated with serious deviations in embryonic development.
What is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis?
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is the genetic analysis of individual embryonic cells prior to the transfer of the embryo to the uterus during the course of in vitro fertilization.
Polar Body Diagnosis
Polar bodies develop during maturation of the ovum and each contain a part of its genome. Testing polar bodies thus enables us to draw conclusions regarding the presence of a chromosome anomaly or a severe genetic disorder inherited via the maternal germline.
Blastomere biopsies are normally performed on the 3rd day of fertilization, when the embryo consists of 6 to 8 cells. Blastomere analysis is forbidden by German law, because the cells are totipotent at this stage, which means that every individual cell is capable of developing into a life form.
A trophoblast is part of a differentiated blastocyst. Trophoblasts form on the 5th day following fertilization. Subsequent to transfer of the blastocyst to the uterus, the trophoblast develops into the chorionic villi. Trophoblast cells originate from the same cell as fetal cells and thus contain the same genetic material. Trophoblast analysis thus enables us to draw conclusions regarding genetic abnormalities in the developing fetus. The analysis of trophoblast cells is regulated by the German Pre-implantation Diagnosis Act.
The German Pre-Implantation Diagnosis Act
The German Pre-implantation Diagnosis Act went into effect in 2011. The provisions of the Pre-implantation Diagnosis Act regulate the conditions for performing pre-implantation testing on trophoblast cells in Bavaria since 2013.
MGZ Munich at Karlsplatz / Stachus
Monday through Thursday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Other appointments by special arrangement.
Phone: +49-991-380 3171
Onkologisches Zentrum Donauwörth
Phone: +49-906-2999 39-0
Phone: +49-8721-983 7204
Phone: +49-8821-771 520
Phone: +49-8031-365 3493
Phone: +49-861-705 1511
Genetic counseling in English and other languages
Genetic counseling is available in German and English at all MGZ locations. At the office in Munich, the center also offers genetic counseling in French, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Serbian, and Farsi. Should you require counseling in a language other than English or German, please mention this when you make an appointment.
Registered medical specializations
- Human genetics