FDA Investigating Whether Young Cancer Patients Accidently Exposed to AIDS VirusAired February 11, 2000 - 2:26 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: The Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether young cancer patients were accidentally exposed to the AIDS virus. The patients were participating in a gene therapy experiment at St. Jude's Children Research Hospital.
And CNN's Eileen O'Connor is in our Washington bureau with details for us -- Eileen.
EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis say it was their concern over quality control, Donna, that led to the discovery of this problem. A review there showed that two children had received genetically engineered vaccines that perhaps had not been properly tested for the hepatitis C virus or HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Both the hospital and government officials say those subsequent tests show these vaccines may have contained the DNA from those viruses. The test used often show false positives. St. Jude's says the level of contamination was so low that even if it does represented biologically active virus particles, the risk to patients would be extremely low.
Now, the FDA has stopped the trial both there and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Officials there say that they pretested the vaccine components used from St. Jude's and that their tests were negative.
Now, St. Jude's did not originally tell patients and families they say partly because the trial has shown some positive results, they didn't want to panic people, and that they have no evidence that the two may have received contaminated vaccines and that they were affected.
Those two children, by the way, who did receive the vaccine, died but from their cancer. There was no evidence that they had any other virus.
The children involved in this study, overall, have recurrent form of cancer with literally no chance of survival, yet four out of the 20 using the vaccine are still alive. Still, the FDA is conducting further tests to determine if there was a risk to the patients, and they are looking at lab procedures to determine how any of this contamination could have occurred -- Donna. KELLEY: All right, Eileen O'connor, thanks very much.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S TOPICS AND GUESTS|
CLICK HERE FOR CNN PROGRAM SCHEDULES
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.