FA Europe Meeting Unites Physicians, Researchers and Advocates in Paris

On May 24th, 2024, the FA Europe Network hosted its inaugural pan-European scientific meeting at the historic Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris, marking a significant milestone in international collaboration for Fanconi anemia (FA). This event was the culmination of years of dedicated effort by FA Europe, a network spearheaded by Fanconi Hope and the Dutch FA Support Group in 2019 and supported by an international grant from the Fanconi Cancer Foundation.

The meeting’s location, Saint-Louis Hospital, holds great significance as the site of the world’s first successful human umbilical cord blood transplant in 1988, on an individual with FA who is still involved with our community today! The event’s keynote speaker, Professor Eliane Gluckman, who performed that pioneering transplant, highlighted the remarkable progress in FA treatment and research since then. Additionally, Dr. Isis Sroka, the Chief Scientific Officer at FCF, shared insights to ensure alignment and synergy between US and European FA research efforts.

A particularly inspiring moment was provided by Dr. Farid Boulad, who recently retired to France after a distinguished career in the US. Drawing a parallel to the film “Field of Dreams,” Dr. Boulad said, “If you build it, they will come,” symbolizing the successful formation of the FA Europe Network, which attracted a diverse and passionate group of clinicians and scientists.

The meeting brought together 92 participants from 12 countries, including clinicians, scientists, and patient support group representatives. This gathering aimed to foster collaboration in achieving equal access to optimized care for individuals affected by FA across Europe. Notably, several attendees were new to the FA community, working in related fields, and their participation underscores the expanding interest and commitment to FA research. The presence of younger clinicians and scientists also bodes well for the future of FA research and care.

Many attendees have since expressed a clearer understanding of their potential contributions to the FA field and a renewed commitment to collaboration. Follow-up discussions are already underway, signaling the strong momentum generated by this event. Representatives from patient support groups across 14 European countries are now tasked with maintaining this momentum and continuing to drive progress. FCF will continue to be a partner in helping advance these efforts.

The FA Europe Network’s first scientific meeting represents a significant step forward in the global effort to improve the lives of those affected by FA, exemplifying the power of international collaboration and shared vision.

The event was made possible through generous donations from patient support groups and support from the French Reference Centre for Aplastic/Fanconi Anemia at Saint-Louis Hospital. Thank you!

Categories: Announcements, Uncategorized

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