ISSCR Testimony in U.S. Congress Regarding Need for Fetal Tissue Research

  • 13 December, 2018

In written and oral testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, former ISSCR president Sally Temple describes fetal tissue research as essential in studying and developing therapies for cancer, HIV, Zika, tuberculous, and other devastating diseases.

Excerpted from Dr. Temple's remarks: 
"Fetal tissue is an essential resource for study and developing therapies for cancer, HIV, Zika, tuberculosis, and other devastating diseases. Fetal tissues have unique properties. The alternatives mentioned (in the hearing) may be useful at times but cannot fully replace fetal tissue." Dr. Temple sites specific examples of how fetal tissue has been critical to research into development and disease, including immunotherapies, and describes the current deficiencies present in alternative research tools. Dr. Temple's written testimony was also submitted to the Committee. 

The hearing, Exploring Alternatives to Fetal Tissue Research, was held "to evaluate the ethical considerations of fetal tissue research and explore alternative research methods, and to discuss the recent steps taken by the Administration to expand efforts in developing and implementing the use of alternatives."

The ISSCR also coordinated and sent a letter to the Committee signed by 63 scientific, medical, and patient organizations, in opposition to restrictions that would further impede fetal tissue research.