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By Dody Bautista, Ph.D.
At the BIT Life Sciences’ 2nd Annual Congress and Expo of Molecular Diagnostics 2009, International Convention Center, in Beijing, November 18-21, I made a presentation that provided an opportunity to showcase Gendicine to various delegates in both biopharma and scientific fields. The conference was largely a scientific meeting on phamacodiagnostics with the theme on Personalized Medicine. It was attended by many scientists from all corners of the world, many of whom representing various universities, biopharmas and biotech companies. Various technology platforms making use of biomarkers to bring personalized medicine to reality were by experts in the field.
The theme of my presentation, which was made on behalf of Modecs Genetics Inc. (Toronto), was on biomarkers in the development of gene therapy for cancer specifically using Gendicine® as the therapeutic. At the very outset of the presentation, I emphasized that I wanted to raise awareness in the audience that the subject of the presentation was on a Chinese product that does an excellent job for treating various types of cancer and that it is time for the world to know how well it works. About half of the audience consisted of Chinese delegates. I immediately saw smiling faces from them as I obviously struck a chord of nationalistic fervour upon mentioning the fact that Gendicine® is the first, and still remains the only, cancer gene therapy product in the world.
I explained in my presentation that Gendicine has been used on more than 15,000 patients, both domestic and foreign, for a variety of cancer types. Many patients have benefited from this treatment yet there are also others whose tumors did not respond. We ought to understand those instances when treatment did not yield the expected results. The objective of my presentation was to outline a research project that primarily seeks to have a better understanding of the types of patients and their tumors so that in the end the treatment with Gendicine can be applied more effectively. We believe that this can be achieved through accurate patient profiling and tumor characterization.
The presentation generated a lot of interest from the audience as evidenced by a lively discussion that followed shortly thereafter. In particular, one scientist expressed his disappointment because he didn’t see much clinical data to show Gendicine’s efficacy. I expressed my regret that it was not the intention of the talk to deal with clinical data. However, it became clear to me that this scientist was simply expressing his sentiments over the fact that outside China, not much is known about Gendicine, let alone its clinical application record. There is indeed a mounting interest in Gendicine, with clinicians and scientists alike all over the world eagerly waiting for a more open communication of treatment results. There are many good stories to tell about Gendicine. It is time that concerted efforts are made to let others know outside China, perhaps publishing on a regular basis a series of clinical case reports describing successful treatments of cancer with Gendicine.
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