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<p class="MsoNormal"><a name="LETTER.BLOCK15"></a><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Dear ASCers, <o:p></o:p></span></p>
</div>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><br>
Stem cells: the potential, the reality and the dangers<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><br>
Free public forums and talent available for media interview in Sydney (25 August), Brisbane (26 August), Adelaide (28 August), and Melbourne (1 September</span><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">).<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">And the Australian Science Media Centre is hosting a briefing at
<a href="#one"><span style="color:black">11 am this morning</span></a>.  <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <br>
 When will stem cell medicine deliver on its promise for:<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<ul style="margin-top:0cm" type="disc">
<li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l3 level1 lfo1"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Cancer<o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l3 level1 lfo1"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Brain diseases and spinal cord injury<o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l3 level1 lfo1"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Repairing organs and tissue.<o:p></o:p></span></li></ul>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><br>
What's holding us back after the years of hype?<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Why you shouldn't pursue unproven stem cell treatments?<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">At the briefing you will hear about these issues first-hand from:<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<ul style="margin-top:0cm" type="disc">
<li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo2"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Professor Irving (Irv) Weissman</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">, the Director of the Stanford Institute of Stem
 Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University, USA<o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo2"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Dr Ann Tsukamoto</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">, the Executive Vice President of Scientific and Strategic Alliances
 at StemCells Inc., USA<o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo2"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Dr Megan Munsie,</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif""> an Associate Investigator at Stem Cells Australia<o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo2"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Dr Chris Juttner,</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif""> a director of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.<o:p></o:p></span></li></ul>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><br>
 </span><span style="color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Then Irv, Ann and Chris are heading around the country for a series of public forums, and will also be available for interview, in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and
 Melbourne. </span><span style="color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Kind regards,<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><br>
Niall <o:p></o:p></span></p>
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<p class="MsoNormal"><a name="one"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><img border="0" id="_x0000_i1026" src="https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/ui/images1/s.gif" alt="one"></span></a><span style="font-size:14.0pt;font-family:"Franklin Gothic Medium","sans-serif";color:black">Stem
 cells: the potential, the reality and the dangers</span><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">
<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><i><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> </span></i></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
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</v:shape><![endif]--><![if !vml]><img width="190" height="89" src="http://www.stemcellfoundation.net.au/images/nscf/national-stem-cell-foundation-of-australia.png?sfvrsn=4" align="right" hspace="5" vspace="5" v:shapes="_x0000_s1026"><![endif]><strong><i><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">AusSMC
 briefing 11 am Melbourne Convention Centre and online at <a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001kFF9O4JB-r2_j9__WgiP5NBtFX7cAWztpt85NnqlcVWYR9uu8BYOOstlM_nn-SGb2r4QjJ2qaMUj_wJ0TOC_Ao4jkcODv2js9NjgicJYPsBFm3PsMG0z2CoZIe9Wv1EJHLGU7tDcjbvaU3vwm-PTZRu2PxbF1jlKnPchtgC80gI=&c=TQcdQ0hWGTaQF0rXxgEf9LBEMKyVhCMkwZggByx8dHN0Ah7xA2pL2g==&ch=2kdxIwGPOCmEAdSoxrsJS1jdULEcVPY6JQmZU5U5s_2Oz9zIhABzCg==" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">www.aussmc.org.au</span></a></span></i></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><i><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> </span></i></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><i><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Free public forums and media interviews in Sydney (25 August), Brisbane (26 August), Adelaide (28 August), and Melbourne (1 September).</span></i></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> </span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">When will stem cell medicine deliver on its promise for:</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<ul style="margin-top:0cm" type="disc">
<li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l1 level1 lfo3"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Cancer</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif""><o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l1 level1 lfo3"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Brain diseases and spinal cord injury
</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif""><o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l1 level1 lfo3"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Repairing organs and tissue.</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif""><o:p></o:p></span></li></ul>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> </span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">What's holding us back after the years of hype?</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Why you shouldn't pursue unproven stem cell treatments?</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Professor Irv Weissman and Dr Ann Tsukamoto discovered human blood stem cells in 1992 and have experienced all of the joy and frustration of researching developing
 stem cell medicines. <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Today they're trialling treatments for cancer and for degenerative diseases. But they're also deeply concerned about the over promising of stem cell medicine,
 and of the unproven treatments that cost desperate patients tens of thousands of dollars.
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Irv leads the Stanford University Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Ann, his wife, is Vice President of StemCells Inc.
<br>
<br>
They are both convinced of the revolutionary potential of stem cell medicine to help us fight cancer and repair damaged organs, brains and limbs.<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">But they also know that much of today's stem cell research will never find its way to the clinic.
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">"Stem cell medicine is already making a difference through bone marrow transplants for cancer but there's too much excitement and too much hype and hope. Most
 of the clinical studies in the US are likely to fail because of the lack of rigorous science and understanding of the cells they're using," says Ann.
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">And she's talking about highly credible research from leading institutions. There's even less evidence to support the stem cell treatments now being marketed
 to desperate patients in the US, India, China, and even here in Australia. <br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">"It's foolish and dangerous to inject a cocktail of cells and hope for the best," says Irv. "Sadly many Americans can't enter real clinical trials because of
 the various dodgy treatments that have cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars."<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">"Before you sign up to a stem cell therapy ask: is the therapy backed by a credible research institution? Is the therapy approved by the FDA or the equivalent?
 Have the method and the results been published in peer-reviewed publications?" he says. "Regulations frustrate all of us. But they're there to protect us from unproven treatments."<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">So when will stem cell medicine deliver on its promise? "We need to refocus on pure stem cells, and how to harvest, grow and manufacture them."
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">"If we get that right then the real stem cell revolution will still be a decade or more away. But it will bring ways of repairing genetic disorders, organs and
 damaged brains," says Ann. <br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">In the interim there are promising developments in cancer. Irv and his colleagues at Stanford University have been assessing the one-off use of pure blood forming
 stem cells in breast cancer and have seen four times the survival rate after 14 years. He's also found 'do not eat me' and 'do eat me' markers on a wide range of cancer cells and is about to start a clinical trial using those markers.
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">His vision of cancer treatment is first a treatment of chemo followed by a rescue with cancer-free stem cells that will ensure that the cancer cells are destroyed. <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">And Ann's company is trialling human neural stem cells for brain and eye diseases and spinal cord repair.
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Irv and Ann are giving free public talks together with local experts in Sydney (25 August), Brisbane (26 August), Adelaide (28 August), and Melbourne on 1 September.
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">They are touring as guests of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, a charitable body that promotes the study and use of stem cells and public education.
<br>
 <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Contact details:</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<ul style="margin-top:0cm" type="disc">
<li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l2 level1 lfo4"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">David Zerman</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">, National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia, 0418 346 999, (03) 9524
 3166, <a href="mailto:david@stemcellfoundation.net.au" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">david@stemcellfoundation.net.au</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l2 level1 lfo4"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Niall Byrne</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">, Science in Public, 0417 131 977,
<a href="mailto:niall@scienceinpublic.com.au" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">niall@scienceinpublic.com.au</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></li><li class="MsoNormal" style="color:black;mso-list:l2 level1 lfo4"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Errol Hunt</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">, Science in Public, 0423139-210,
<a href="mailto:errol@scienceinpublic.com.au" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">errol@scienceinpublic.com.au</span></a>
<o:p></o:p></span></li></ul>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> </span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Online</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">:
<a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001kFF9O4JB-r2_j9__WgiP5NBtFX7cAWztpt85NnqlcVWYR9uu8BYOOlHW1EbQLbjghGE1ltX33OKgGiuvNu5B5qYv853QoNwSJR4JR-Un9vlP0rqc1uVVpwhY-MJVjichAp_uy2pp_-U0VK60wgRe0yjQGnn3hoNIDK8RxN9qxGbrm4tVe2vQJgs2x-KsMFnG&c=TQcdQ0hWGTaQF0rXxgEf9LBEMKyVhCMkwZggByx8dHN0Ah7xA2pL2g==&ch=2kdxIwGPOCmEAdSoxrsJS1jdULEcVPY6JQmZU5U5s_2Oz9zIhABzCg==" target="_blank">
<span style="color:black">www.stemcellfoundation.net.au</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Twitter</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">:
<a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001kFF9O4JB-r2_j9__WgiP5NBtFX7cAWztpt85NnqlcVWYR9uu8BYOOs_-COTod_6_tVAzYStWKiSYwHeYOUl4nSumMxv_Wuw4POy_EZuFj5GPj_4-S1p3T3w2XaRmT8sJIqnrq4zivQ81lTH_W5I7p36MmX15R_Axf9ZT--DqGIzVnN0x0m7R3A==&c=TQcdQ0hWGTaQF0rXxgEf9LBEMKyVhCMkwZggByx8dHN0Ah7xA2pL2g==&ch=2kdxIwGPOCmEAdSoxrsJS1jdULEcVPY6JQmZU5U5s_2Oz9zIhABzCg==" target="_blank">
<span style="color:black">@AusStemCell</span></a></span><span style="font-size:10.0pt;color:black"> </span><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
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<p class="MsoNormal"><a name="StemCells"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><img border="0" id="_x0000_i1027" src="https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/ui/images1/s.gif" alt="StemCells"></span></a><span style="font-size:14.0pt;font-family:"Franklin Gothic Medium","sans-serif";color:black">Public
 forums: Stem cells-the potential, the reality and the dangers</span><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">
<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><br>
 <strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif"">Locations and dates:</span></strong><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">SYDNEY</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">:         6 pm Monday 25 August, Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> </span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">BRISBANE</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">:     6 pm Tuesday 26 August, Queensland Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth Street,
 Brisbane<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black"> <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">ADELAIDE</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">:     6 pm Thursday 28 August, SAHMRI Building, North Terrace, Adelaide<o:p></o:p></span></p>
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<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">MELBOURNE</span></strong><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">: 6 pm Monday 1 September, Melbourne City Conference Centre, 333 Swanston
 St, Melbourne<o:p></o:p></span></p>
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<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Free, but register online via
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<span style="color:black">Eventbrite</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></p>
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<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">More information about the speakers and the tour on the <a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001kFF9O4JB-r2_j9__WgiP5NBtFX7cAWztpt85NnqlcVWYR9uu8BYOOroS_CzT0FtErMgiII6iKot3zro4zBFpMEczUUmhkvBk9VLXzNZWJxPzdRSuUSv6MTGwDwigMF0Gpv-nKppeMsAL48DzOXQ_K7JqUp_TOjRSVJOLS7-r2Z8Mut-3ieg4Rcd52REp2cuCMpu_PH36IWx9e8tN60RJHNl3go8ib0AyyEIeFyBLTF0ozKsGFQ6Mq--ABWXnKwcWO-OdMRE1TYqaWGalH76keaOA7qdpaU2c23nWR34cw54=&c=TQcdQ0hWGTaQF0rXxgEf9LBEMKyVhCMkwZggByx8dHN0Ah7xA2pL2g==&ch=2kdxIwGPOCmEAdSoxrsJS1jdULEcVPY6JQmZU5U5s_2Oz9zIhABzCg==" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">National
 Stem Cell Foundation's website</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></p>
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<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">We're always happy to help put you in contact with scientists. Our work is funded by the science world - from the Prime Minister's Science Prizes to
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<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family:"Cambria","serif";color:black">Feel free to pass these stories along to colleagues. And between bulletins, you can follow me on Twitter (@scienceinpublic) for more science news and story tips.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
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