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Cancer Gene Therapy Seminar Set


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http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/ci_8846783

ARTICLE:

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Cancer gene therapy seminar set

Staff Reports

Stamford Advocate

Article Launched:04/08/2008 01:00:00 AM EDT

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The Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy will host "The Promise of Cancer Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Lung Cancer," an April 16 seminar to explore advancements in treating lung cancer using gene therapy.

Jack Roth, a member of the ACGT scientific advisory council, professor of molecular and cellular oncology and director of the W.M. Keck Cancer Center for Innovative Cancer Therapies at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, will be the featured speaker.

He will discuss lung cancer research, clinical trials and the prognosis of gene therapy as a potential cancer treatment.

"For years we have used chemicals to treat the problem of cancer spreading from the local tumor (but) these chemicals are not very effective against cancer cells and highly toxic to normal cells," says Roth. "Gene therapy selectively targets abnormal biologic pathways in the cancer cell and may stimulate immune responses to cancer which will not harm normal cells.

"Gene therapy for cancer is potentially more effective and much less toxic than current treatments."

Edward Netter, chairman of the board of directors and co-founder with his wife, Barbara, of the Stamford-based ACGT, says Roth is considered a leading expert in the treatment of lung cancer.

Roth has studied genetic phenomena in lung carcinogenesis, the process by which normal cells transform into cancer cells, and potential therapies that can target such phenomena.

The ACGT was founded more than six years ago, Netter explains, to draw attention to gene therapy as an alternative protocol to chemotherapy and radiation, which can harm healthy cells and cause adverse side effects.

"If you look at what's been going on with relation to cancer treatment, (medical professionals) are doing what they've always done," he says. "They are used to doing things the way they were taught."

Since cancer is believed to be caused by a missing or defective gene, the ACGT's mission also includes funding research to develop drugs that attack only cancer cells.

Connie Burnett-West, a lung cancer survivor who has been cancer-free for eight years since receiving gene therapy treatment, also will speak.

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"The Promise of Cancer Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Lung Cancer" will be held April 16 at 7:15 p.m. at the Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich. Admission is free; reservations are required. Call 358-8000, ext. 349; or e-mail fyoung@acgtfoundation.org.

- Camilla A. Herrera

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(Stamford Advocate, April 8, 2008)

Disclaimer:

The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not posted as medical advice of any kind.

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