Spain allows the selection of embryos for the first time

Spain - On 21 April, the Spanish state has authorized for the first time a selection of embryos to enable a couple to conceive a child with no genetic mutations in disabling the families of both parents.

The National Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction has taken this decision under the Spanish law on assisted human reproduction in 2006. This law establishes the right to use a technique of embryo selection to "detect serious hereditary diseases, early onset, and with no post-cure."

However, the first two applications are not accepted fully the criteria required by law. The first concerns the simultaneous mutations of the genes responsible for breast cancer, the second concerns the alteration of a gene associated with a type of endocrine cancer. Eleven cases were presented and eight were accepted: six relate to the Huntington's disease (degenerative disease of the brain), the other two, muscular dystrophy Landouzy-Dejerine (genetic muscle disease).

For Joan Brunet, head of the Working Group "Cancer is hereditary and genetic counseling of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), each request must be examined case by case. Forty syndromes should be taken into account but not widespread, because each tumor has genes and different mutations. For him, family history must be taken into account.

Spain is the second country in the world to allow the use of this technique, after England. In October 2008, Javier, the first "drug baby", came into the world to "save" his brother Andres in a hereditary form of anemia. Two other applications for children medicines have also been accepted.

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