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Debate over safety of gene therapy trials focuses on issue of informed consent
Date:1/22/2008

New Rochelle, NY, January 22, 2008Can a patient who agrees to participate in a safety study of a gene therapy protocol give truly informed consent and understand the risks involved when the consent forms are highly technical and the physician or institution seeking their consent has a stake in the study and its outcome? The continuing debate over informed consent and the acknowledgement of risk and responsibility in gene therapy trials are the focus of a series of probing and provocative commentaries published in the January 2008 issue (Volume 19, Number 1) of Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The commentaries are available free online.

In the Editorial, James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief and Head of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, calls on the gene therapy, regulatory, and research communities to re-explore the issue of informed consent as it relates to the safety of viral vector-based gene transfer therapies and the appropriateness of having physicians and others with an interest in the trials and their outcomes recruit patients and obtain the necessary informed consent.

I encourage the professional gene therapy societies and various related foundations to work together in the new year to undertake a critical review of the conduct of our clinical trials...it behooves us to get ahead of this issue and put in place more effective ways to assure that research subjects who courageously give of themselves can do so with a full and unbiased understanding of the risks and benefits of their participation, writes Dr. Wilson.

This issue of the Journal also includes five stimulating commentaries that discuss the key controversies related to patient recruitment and trial management. They explore the question of whether patients are able to comprehend the lengthy and often highly
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Contact: Vicki Cohn
vcohn@liebertpub.com
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Source:Eurekalert

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