European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) is a major community for researchers and cliniciansPortrait Lidiia Zhytnik in Europe working in the field of musculoskeletal diseases. Annual ECTS Congress brings together health and science professionals to exchange latest advances, challenges and controversies in bone and calcified tissues field. OIFE was represented by Lidiia Zhytnik (member of OIFE Medical Advisory Board). Here is her report: 

The 47th ECTS congress went virtual in 2020. Live Prime Time sessions were held from 22-24 of October.

As always, ECTS congress was full of latest scientific and technological updates, clinical advices and applications. Among developing treatments for OI were reported Fresolimumab (antiTGFβ) for severe and moderate OI; Setrusumab and Romosozumab (antisclerostin antibodies); mesenchymal stem cells therapy for severe OI, and last but not least pre- and postbirth transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells in kids with severe OI. So, many different therapeutic approaches are on their way!

In addition to traditional topics (e.g. bone regulators, genetic and molecular controls of bone cells), there were fields which stood out with innovative and interesting approach, like prediction of fracture risk with artificial intelligence, connections between bone strength and gut microbiota, or between bone and metabolism (fat tissue).

Although on the first sight it might seem, that the interest of the scientific and clinical communities is concentrated mainly on common musculoskeletal diseases like osteoporosis, bone cancers and osteoarthritis, various aspects of OI were highlighted by numerous works, presented during the congress. The presentations on basic research: unusual IFITM5 mutations which connected OI types V and VI, mutations in WNT1 and OI phenotype in mice, role of a new OI gene TENT5A in the disease pathogenesis, and role of mutant collagen in the cell components stress. Translational and clinical OI research highlighted new cases of OI with MBTPS2; PLS3 mutations, disturbed bone formation in patients with OI type V, fractures during pregnancy and after delivery in women with OI and health-related quality of life in OI patients. Also, a summary of a pan-European registry for Rare Bone diseases (EurRR-Bone) was presented in the congress. We would like to express our support and gratitude to all young, established and experienced researchers who work on OI studies! Abstracts of works presented during ECTS Digital Congress 2020 were published in the Bone Reports Volume 13S (2020) which you find here.

We would also like to thank Dr. Oliver Semler (Children’s Hospital, University of Cologne), who is the chair of OIFE MAB, for bringing additional attention of the audience to OI by giving a wonderful summarizing talk on clinical updates in OI.

We are also very happy to see that work, done by leaders of OI research is recognized. Our heartily congratulations to Prof. Outi Mäkitie (Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki), who has significantly contributed to the research of OI genetic defects, a recipient of the 2020 Steven Boonen Clinical Research Award.

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