ITALY – Stem Cells. Florence, Meyer pediatric hospital to soon have functioning ‘white room’

(Stem Cells News image)

The ‘White Room’ at Meyer pediatric hospital in Florence needs to complete a few more procedures to become completely functional. This stem cell and cellular product ‘factory’ will allow cells to be manipulated for therapies used in bone marrow treatments against leukemia and tumors and in reconstructive medicine to reproduce bone, cartilage, fat, and nervous tissue in metabolic and neurological diseases and treatments for serious autoimmune disorders.

“The certification procedures are very long,” explained the head of transfusions and cellular therapy, Franco Bambi, “because we will be considered a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, but we are planning to finish the procedures by the end of the year.” The facility is made up of three laboratories, including a quarantine area, a sterilization and decontamination lab, a filter area and as a cryopreservation lab, which will store cells and tissues in containers with liquid nitrogen at -193 degrees. This morning the White Room was given a 300 thousand dollar donation collected from 15,000 Unicoop Florence and Coop members.
The check was delivered this morning by the president of the Unicoop Florence management council Golfredo Biancalani to the president of the Meyer Foundation and the commissioner of pediatrics Tommaso Langiano.

Already 1,500 Coop members have visited the White Room at Meyer after making their donation. Yesterday morning 35 Unicoop sectional presidents were taken on a guided visit by Doctor Franco Bambi together with Regional Health Councilman Enrico Rossi, Meyer President Tommaso Langiano, Unicoop Florence management council president Goffredo Biancalani, and president of the Medical Department at the University of Florence Gianfranco Gensini. “Citizens know that when faced with an important health-care problem, our system is capable of responding,” commented councilman Rossi during the delivery of the check to Meyer by Unicoop Florence. “Initiatives like this one make citizens more involved in their health-care.”

At the event, the ‘Meyermeo’ experimental project for TV and radio for the children at Meyer, done by the students of the Florence art institute and coordinated by director Giovanni Micoli, was also inaugurated.

In the upcoming weeks, all of the hospital rooms will be given multimedia stations, radio ethernet in every room, and areas where videos will be played in playrooms for the children and in the oncohematology unit.
The White Room at Meyer, which should be fully functioning by the end of the year, is already working on several activities. Today, the stem cell manufacturing facility directed by Franco Bimbi received bone marrow from a donor in Honolulu, which was used in a transplant in a child with leukemia.
The marrow arrived to the cellular therapy laboratory through the international donor registry and was requested by Meyer’s oncohematology unit directed by Maurizio Aricò, who currently is treating a patient for leukemia.

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