Fertility Clinic Looks To Recruit Women To Provide Eggs for New Stem Cell Research
The Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco wants to recruit women in the area to provide eggs for stem cell research, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Philip Chenette, director of the fertility clinic, hopes to be able to offer eggs starting in January 2006 to the planned Bay Area satellite clinic of the new World Stem Cell Foundation.
The clinic will seek eggs from healthy women in their 20s and early 30s who are in good physical and emotional health. While it has not been determined if the women will be paid for their eggs and effort, donors will need to be willing to give themselves hormone injections and submit to a 30-minute surgical egg retrieval process (Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, 10/20).
Woo Suk Hwang, the South Korean researcher who became the first to clone human embryos for the creation of stem cells, announced Wednesday the creation of the foundation, with labs in Seoul, San Francisco and Oxford, England (California Healthline, 10/19).
"We've just started talking to people, and women are fascinated by the chance to help. They understand the importance of the technology," Chenette said.
Bioethicists say that caution should be demonstrated and that there are small, but significant health risks in being an egg donor.
However, the Center for Genetics and Society is calling for a ban of any egg donation for research (San Jose Mercury News, 10/20).
In related news, nearly a year has passed since Proposition 71 was approved by voters, and the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee has taken only "baby steps" to determine the ethical and medical details in stem cell research, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
One of three advisory panels supposed to make recommendations to the oversight committee and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is supposed to have its final recommendations in place by February 2006. The Scientific and Medical Accountability Standards Working Group is meeting Oct. 24, Dec. 1 and Jan. 30-31, 2006, to finalize their recommendations.
Geoff Lomax, CIRM's staff liaison to the standards working group, said, "What we're really looking at is building upon an established tradition of effective research oversight in California. What I think the guidelines are going to emphasize is what needs to be done in addition to what we believe is already good practice in California" (Dolbee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/20).