Contrary to the last International Human Genome Editing Symposium, the focus was Somatic Human Gene Editing (SHGE), wherein the non-reproductive cells of adults/children were utilized to explore cures for diseases. This approach makes changes in the patient’s DNA without causing those changes to be inherited by future offspring. In gene editing, there is always a possibility of unexpected, off-target mutations occurring, with unknown detrimental outcomes. While the human subject of a clinical trial should have Autonomy (Informed
Consent), future progeny would not, and hence would cause a breach of Bioethics. An excellent example of success in curing disease with SHGE was presented in person by Victoria Gray, 37, a mother of 4, who suffered most of her life with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). While SCD is caused by the mutation of a single gene, and therefore can be addressed more readily than a disease that is caused by several, it is still a
momentous achievement in human medical research.
Please read Victoria’s story here: Victoria Gray’s Story