Subject: Concerns RE: Gene Therapy Experiment at NY Presbyterian Hospital
A recent gene therapy experiment – the insertion of viruses directly into the brain of a person suffering from Parkinsonism – was uncritically presented to the public on national television. CIRCARE is concerned that there are are serious unknowns involved:
implant.In the case of Jesse Gelsinger, a gene implant resulted in death, and in recent experiments with children in France several have become sick with leukemia.
implantis also unknown – was this established in primate studies? If too much virus is put in the brain there is no way to turn it off and more serious movement disorder can be created, as with wild flinging movements. When fetal cells were implanted in other experiments – in an attempt to more directly address the problem – they grew in a disorganized way and created a more serious movement disorder.
When so much doubt remains, CIRCARE advises not to proceed with human experimentation but with more rigorous animal testing. In addition, the results of animal studies should be placed in the public domain. Subjects may be naively accepting the insertion of viruses into their brains because they don't want a device implanted, versus acceptance based on findings that
safety and a degree of efficiacy have been established in primate studies.
See the article in the NY Times:
Gene Therapy Used to Treat Patient with Parkinson's. August 19, 2003. P. 1. *
Michael A. Susko MS, CIRCARE President
Paul Gelsinger, Vice President, CIRCARE
* We apologize for providing incomplete information about the New York York Times article. We're attempting to locate the name of the reporter who wrote it.
Link: To create an HTML link to this InfoMail cut and paste the following:
<a href="http://www.circare.org/im/im6Sept2003.htm">Concerns RE: Gene Therapy Experiment at NY Presbyterian Hospital</a>. CIRCARE InfoMail (2003-09-06)
Last Updated: 2006-04-25
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