Controversies concerning mitochondrial replacement therapy

Robert Klitzman, M.D., Mark Toynbee, M.B.B.S., Mark V. Sauer, M.D.

Volume 103, Issue 2, Pages 344-346


Research on mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) holds the promise of helping women who have, or are at risk of transmitting, mitochondrial disease, but has recently been blocked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thus, several critical ethical and policy questions arise. Mitochondrial disease can be devastating for those who have it. Yet existing treatments remain supportive rather than curative. Women confronting this disease have a high chance of having an affected child and limited reproductive alternatives.

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