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Newsletter January 2014

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News: Gene therapy promising in Parkinson's patients
Patients in a clinical trial to treat Parkinson's disease with a form of gene therapy have showed signs of significant improvements in their motor-function, according to a report published in the Lancet. Fifteen advanced-stage Parkinson's patients (three from the UK and 12 from France) were followed up a year after being injected with low, mid and high doses of a modified virus containing genes required for brain cells to produce dopamine, as part of the phase I/II study. A lack of dopamine causes patients with Parkinson's to experience tremors and difficulty in coordinating their movement. The researchers observed that after receiving the treatment the patients' scores on movement tests improved on average by 30 percent. The patients also reported having a better quality of life. Although the patients showed some side effects, overall the treatment was found to be safe and no serious side effects were observed.

News: Gene therapy scores in fight against leukemia
In one of the biggest advances against leukemia and other blood cancers in many years, doctors are reporting unprecedented success by using gene therapy to transform patients’ blood cells into soldiers that seek and destroy cancer. A few patients with one type of leukemia were given this one-time, experimental therapy several years ago and some remain cancer-free today. Now, at least six research groups have treated more than 120 patients with many types of blood and bone marrow cancers, with stunning results.

Conference: Spring Symposium of the Netherlands Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (NVGCT)
The next NVGCT Spring Symposium will be held on March 13 and 14, 2014 at Congrescentrum De Werelt, Lunteren.

Keynote speakers:
Robin Ali (UCL, London, UK), Gene and cell therapy for retinopathies
Toni Cathomen (Uniklin Freiburg, DE), Designer nucleases & iPSC: novel tools to treat and model chronic immunodeficiencies

Educational lectures:
Annemieke Aartsma-Rus (LUMC), Antisense-mediated exon skipping
Joost Verhaagen (NIN), Neuroregeneration


- 27 - 29 January 2014, Phacilitate 10th Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Forum 2014, Washington DC, MD
- 8 -11 February 2014, Gene-based Therapeutics for Neurological Disorders, Cancun, Mexico
- 13 - 14 March 2014, Spring Symposium of the Netherlands Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (NVGCT), Lunteren, The Netherlands
-20 -22 March 2014, 20th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Gene Therapy (DG-GT e.V.), Ulm, Germany
- 24 - 26 March 2014, French Society of Cell and Gene Therapy (SFTCG) Annual Congress 2014, Toulouse, France
- 28 March 2014, Annual conference of the British Society for Gene Therapy (BSGT), London, UK
- 21 – 24 May 2014, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 17th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
- 6 – 8 August 2014, The 20th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Tokio, Japan
- 11 – 13 August 2014, The 2nd International Conference on Genetic Engineering & Genetically Modified Organisms, San Antonio, TX
- 25 – 27 September 2014, 14th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy of Cancer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 23 – 26 October 2014, XXII Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT), The Hague, The Netherlands
- 27 – 29 October 2014, 3rd International Conference and Exhibition on Cell & Gene Therapy, Las Vegas, NV
- November 2014, Formulation and Drug Delivery Congress, London, UK
- November 2014, Cell Therapy Congress, London, UK


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