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ITALY, Lazio – Appeal made to accelerate vote on hematopoietic stem cells

‘Yet again the Lazio region risks missing a chance to be at the cutting edge in the country for the therapeutic use of hematopoietic stem cells, a technique that is scientifically tested and proven in terms of its efficiency,’ said Luigi Canai, the President of the Lazio Health Commission, in a statement.

‘For days the media has been reporting important progress achieved in this field of research both abroad and in Italy. Regarding this subject, a year ago on February 19 2009, the commission chaired by me approved a unified text for a law that was later approved by the budget commission to promote the use in our region of this revolutionary therapeutic tool, which is particularly important in treating various rare infant diseases. The proposal, which calls for the creation of a regional bank to preserve hematopoietic stem cells taken from the placenta and umbilical cord of women in labour, was unanimously approved, but from that time on, we are awaiting the final vote of the council, a step that is necessary to implement the plan in the interest of the health of the citizens of our region.’

‘I must firmly ask the presidents of the council groups and the president of the assembly to honor this debt as soon as possible, which we all have towards our constituents, and we must hold a debate immediately. I do not want to believe,’ concluded Canali, ‘that the unanimity that was witnessed earlier has already dissolved for other considerations, such as the permanent electoral campaign in our country.’