American Association for Cancer Research

AACR CANCER POLICY MONITOR

CPM

                                                                                                                JULY 2009

NEW GUIDELINES FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH IN EFFECT

 

NIH has issued final rules for federally sponsored embryonic stem cell research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released final guidance on federally funded stem cell research.

The new rules will allow federal funds to support research conducted on stem cell lines derived from excess fertility clinic embryos, but they expressly prohibit funding for research projects using lines derived for the purpose of research through processes such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), in vitro fertilization (IVF) or parthenogenesis.

Also described in detail are the conditions, informed consent procedures, and other criteria that must be met during the derivation of embryonic stem cells for the cells to be eligible for research projects that are federally funded.

One key difference from the draft guidelines issued in April is that stem cells developed earlier will not require such precise documentation. Older stem cell lines can be eligible if scientists can prove that the informed consent procedures met the spirit of the law, if not the exact letter of the law. A new NIH registry will be created to list those lines deemed eligible.

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