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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
SJR: 0.123

ISSN Druckformat: 2151-805X
ISSN Online: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2013007122
pages 115-121

Ethical Considerations Translational Genomics: The Case of Emerging Cancer Therapeutics

Alan C. Warner
Research Coordinator, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 1X5 Canada; Masters of Science Student - Union Graduate College/Mount Sinai Medical Centre New York


Research in genomics is to a large extent publicly funded and is likely to affect the future health care of many of us, yet few people understand its purpose or potential. Bioethics is one way to act as a bridge between public needs, understanding, and ongoing scientific research, especially at the point of change that many technologies create. In this article, I will discuss how "translational" genomics can be a process by which information from emerging technologies in medicine can be made understandable to the public and take results from the lab to the bedside in a more coherent fashion. Within this definition of transitional genomics there are two important distinctions. The first is knowledge translation−utilization of nuanced methods for quality improvement and closing the gaps from knowledge to practice. The second is clinical application, which is the implementation of technologies at the bedside. I will look at why improvement of communication matters by focusing on key stakeholders including the public, health professionals, and advocacy groups. The challenges of autonomy, true informed consent, and distributive justice will then be explored in relation to a new class of therapeutics known as synthetic antibodies.