Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy: Unmade in the USA image

The JAMA Forum, February 14, 2017
Eli Y. Adashi and I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)

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Mitochondrial replacement therapy, an experimental approach that takes aim at maternally inherited mitochondrial diseases, is on the verge of being implemented in the United Kingdom, almost 2 years after it received approval from the UK Parliament. In a ruling issued on December 15, 2016, the UK Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) concluded that mitochondrial replacement therapy “can be used cautiously for risk reduction treatments in certain cases where alternative treatments would be of little or no benefit to mothers at risk of passing mitochondrial disease onto their children.”

These disorders, which are frequently fatal, are caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that are passed from mother to offspring. Although these disorders are incurable, researchers believe it now may be possible to prevent them by mitochondrial replacement therapy, combining the nucleus from the egg of an affected woman with the cytoplasm from an unaffected woman that contains healthy mitochondria. [...]

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bioethics biotechnology health law policy i. glenn cohen reproductive technologies