China has at least eight CRISPR gene therapy clinical trials to treat various forms of cancer. CRISPR is being tested as a treatment for cancers of the lung, bladder, cervix and prostate.
Only one CRISPR cancer study has been approved in the United States, and it’s only just now starting to look for the first patient to treat.
Clinical trials can be approved in China by a single nine-member hospital committee in just two months. One such committee included a lawyer, a bioethicist, nurses, doctors, a journalist, a representative of cancer patients and a representative of the public.
Patients are willing to try new cures. That’s why the ethics committee and the lab are very positive about this.
But the less stringent oversight makes doctors and bioethicists worry that some Chinese doctors may be rushing ahead too quickly, possibly putting patients at risk.
China has made this a very high priority — a national priority to develop CRISPR cancer treatment.