ISCT22: Tackling the ethical issues around cell and gene therapy

May 5, 2022 -- Unproven and unethical cell and gene therapies (CGTs) are a growing problem worldwide, according to Laertis Ikonomou, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Oral Biology at the University of Buffalo, and chair of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) Committee on the Ethics of Cell and Gene Therapy.

Ikonomou spoke with about the ethical and regulatory issues around the rapid growth of the global CGT industry, as the ISCT 2022 annual meeting kicked off in San Francisco this week.

The ISCT Committee on the Ethics of Cell and Gene Therapy is composed of international experts charged with examining unproven and unethical CGT interventions and promoting safe and effective practices around the world. Ikonomou describes it as a "borderless" direct-to-consumer problem in many countries.

For example, in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ikonomou said direct-to-consumer businesses have made unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims about purported "stem cell" products for the coronavirus. Researchers have called for stronger regulations to deter the sale of unproven cell-based products, and more responsible and accurate science communication.

Watch the video below to learn more.

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