Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study finds patients give 'broad endorsement' to stem cell research

Date:
January 2, 2014
Source:
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Summary:
In an early indication of lay opinions on research with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), a new study by bioethicists indicates that despite some ethical concerns, patients give the research “broad endorsement”.

In an early indication of lay opinions on research with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are stem cells made from skin or other tissues, a new study by bioethicists at Johns Hopkins University indicates that despite some ethical concerns, patients give the research "broad endorsement."

During focus group discussions patients were largely in favor of participating in iPSC research even if personal benefit was unlikely, though they raised concerns about consent, privacy and transparency when considering donating tissue for this research. The bioethicists report their findings in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

"Bioethicists, as well as stem cell researchers and policy-makers, have discussed the ethical issues of induced pluripotent stem cells at length, but we didn't have any systematic information about what patients think about these issues, and that is a huge part of the equation if the potential of this research is to be fully realized,"says Jeremy Sugarman, the senior author of the report and the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics and Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Unlike human embryonic stem cells, iPSCs are derived without destroying a human embryo. Research with human iPSCs is valuable for developing new drugs, studying disease, and perhaps developing medical treatments. Sugarman explains that, while far off, scientists are hopeful that iPSCs could someday be used to develop organs for transplantation that the body's immune system will not attack, because they can be created from the person's own cells.

The study reveals the importance of prior informed consent for those asked to participate in it. According to the report, consent was highly important for patients in all five of the focus groups that were convened. Some patients even suggested that proper informed consent could compensate for other concerns they had about privacy, the "immortalization" of cells, and the commercialization of stem cells.

There was a "strong desire among participants to have full disclosure of the anticipated uses," the report notes, with some participants wanting to be able to veto certain uses of their cells. The authors acknowledge the "practical difficulties" of this request but hope that their findings will "prompt investigation into creative approaches to meeting these desires."

The study also revealed another side to some patients' selfless motivations to participate in research as they might relate to eventual commercialization. The report quotes one participant as saying, "It won't be just taken to become a money maker and the very people who need it the most will no longer be able to benefit from it" and another, "…it was a donation. It's a humanitarian effort."

The authors also note that the unique characteristics of their small study could have influenced the results; for instance, the fact that it was conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, among patients who have received care at Johns Hopkins, where the first immortal cell line was created from tumor cells taken from Henrietta Lacks, put related issues at the forefront of many focus groups. "The idea that donated cells would potentially live forever was unnerving to some participants. In particular, the story about the creation of the HeLa cell line from Henrietta Lacks' cervical cancer tissue, taken without consent, was raised in four out of the five focus groups," the report states.

Additionally, the report indicates that the opinions that were expressed by patients may be influenced by their health, and whether or not they have personal experience with a debilitating illness, as some of the participants did.

"It seems fair to say that everyone experiences serious illness in their lives, whether themselves or through someone they know and care about, and this influences their opinions of healthcare and research," Sugarman says. "This study is a first step in getting crucial information about what values are factored into a decision to participate in iPSC research, and what those participants expect from the experience."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ishan Dasgupta, Juli Bollinger, DebraJ.H. Mathews, NeilM. Neumann, Abbas Rattani, Jeremy Sugarman. Patients’ Attitudes toward the Donation of Biological Materials for the Derivation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Cell Stem Cell, 2014; 14 (1): 9 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2013.12.006

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. "Study finds patients give 'broad endorsement' to stem cell research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102133021.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. (2014, January 2). Study finds patients give 'broad endorsement' to stem cell research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102133021.htm
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. "Study finds patients give 'broad endorsement' to stem cell research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102133021.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins