ISSCR Statement on Recent Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) Breakthrough: An Important Step Forward

  • 5 October, 2011

Posted October 5, 2011

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) welcomes today’s announcement of an advance in stem cell science and reprogramming through somatic cell nuclear transfer or SCNT. Research on SCNT is highly valuable for understanding reprogramming and for comparing the performance of pluripotent stem cells made by factor-based reprogramming to those made by SCNT. Identifying factors that mediate reprogramming from human egg cells (oocytes) may help improve efficiency and fidelity of factor-based reprogramming and accelerate an important medical goal of stem cell science, which is to deliver safe and fully differentiated cells for research and therapy.

The ISSCR supports research on all forms of stem cell research, performed under rigorous and transparent oversight, and advocates that both embryonic and adult stem cell research must move forward in parallel to understanding disease and identifying treatment.

The ISSCR would like to acknowledge the contribution of the women who made the informed and autonomous decision to donate egg cells to make this and other such research possible, recognizing the burden of time, effort, discomfort and risk associated with the donation.

“As in other areas of medical research, we rely on the support and involvement of the community. We appreciate the generosity of women who chose to undertake a complicated procedure to accelerate progress toward development of new therapies from human embryonic stem cell research and related avenues of medical research,” says Fred H. Gage, ISSCR President.

The ISSCR reiterates its guidance, published in 2006, which stresses the importance of rigorous oversight by local stem cell research and ethics review committees to ensure the safety and informed choice and informed consent of women providing eggs and that any compensation not become the motivator for donation. The ISSCR Guidelines on the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research can be found on the ISSCR websiteRead more about this breakthrough, including FAQs.

Noggle N, Fung H-L, Gore A, Martinez H, Crumm Satriani K, Prosser, R, Oum K, Paull D, Druckenmiller S, Freeby M, Greenberg E, Zhang K, Goland R, Sauer MV, Leibel RL, and Egli D (2011). Human oocytes reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state. Nature 478, 70-75.

Daley GQ and Solbakk JH (2011). Stem cells: Triple genomes go far. Nature 478, 40-41