News of the WeekGene Therapy

RAC Urges Changes to Retinoblastoma Plan

Science  25 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5423, pp. 2066
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5423.2066a

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The Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) lost its approval authority over gene therapy protocols 2 years ago, but now may be regaining its clout. Last week the committee turned thumbs down on a gene therapy protocol for treating retinoblastoma, a rare childhood cancer of the eye--and the lead investigator listened. Also last week, RAC got a strong endorsement from National Institutes of Health director Harold Varmus, who 3 years ago proposed doing away with the committee but then, in response to much protest, agreed to keep it to advise on policy matters.