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Italy: Transplant, Radiotherapy, and Biotechnology Centers


For more than a decade, UPMC has partnered with the Region of Sicily to offer transplantation services at Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione (ISMETT) in Palermo, Italy.

ISMETT has brought transplantation services to an area in the Mediterranean basin that did not have wide access to such procedures and therapies. Previously, many Sicilian patients had to travel to other regions for treatment.

A leading transplant center

ISMETT has become one of the leading transplant centers in Europe and is a major referral center for other Mediterranean countries.

Since its inception, ISMETT's transplant team has performed more than 1,000 transplants with outstanding clinical results. The one-year survival rate for liver transplant recipients is among the highest in Italy.

In addition, the 120,000 square-foot facility:

  • Includes a 14-bed comprehensive intensive care unit.
  • Has a state-of-the-art imaging center.
  • Provides each patient with the highest quality of care, supported by personalized services designed to accommodate the international patient’s cultural and linguistic needs.

Finding solutions for end-stage organ failure

One of the most innovative biomedical projects today is the Cell Factory in Palermo, Italy, hosted by ISMETT. This is a UPMC partnership that includes three laboratories dedicated to the production of cells to treat end-stage organ failure.

The Cell Factory performs advanced research in regenerative medicine and offers remote cell preparation for other transplantation centers in Europe.

For more information, please visit ISMETT's homepage.

UPMC San Pietro FBF

Advanced Radiotherapy Center of Excellence at San Pietro Hospital

UPMC’s management of the Advanced Radiotherapy Center of Excellence at San Pietro Hospital in Rome, Italy, fulfills an unmet need for advanced radiotherapy treatment close to home.

The center offers one of the most advanced linear accelerators in the world, and the only one in Rome. It's the same state-of-the-art platform operating in UPMC’s radiation oncology center in Pittsburgh.

Bringing this level of radiosurgery to the region will:

  • Improve patient access to cancer treatment.
  • Increase the quality of cancer care.
  • Reduce complications.

Cancer research and clinical trials

The Advanced Radiotherapy Center carries out research activities aimed at promoting radiosurgery quantitative and qualitative analyses, and developing a wider disease category database, clinical guidelines, and practices in cooperation with the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center network and other Italian and European cancer centers.

The Advanced Radiotherapy Center works with these commercial partners:

  • Varian Medical System
  • Brainlab
  • General Electric

The center will enroll in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), a United States-based national clinical trials cooperative group that conducts trials studying ways to increase survival and improve quality of life for patients diagnosed with cancer. RTOG participants include 250 of the major research institutions in the United States and Canada.

Plans are under discussion with the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology to develop a work group among UPMC, San Pietro Hospital, and several European radiation oncology centers.

For more information, please visit UPMC San Pietro FBF's homepage.

Ri.MED Foundation — Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center

UPMC partnered with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Italian government through the Ri.MED Foundation to build and manage a Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC) in Palermo, Italy.

Expected to open in 2016, this center will comprise programs that represent the most contemporary themes in biomedical research:

  • Drug discovery
  • Vaccine development
  • Tissue engineering
  • Regenerative medicine

The development of biomedical devices, structural and computational biology, neurosciences, and molecular imaging will put BRBC in the forefront of developing the next generation of medications, vaccines, regenerative therapies, and medical devices.

The BRBC will:

  • Recruit creative and productive scientists.
  • Train researchers.
  • Help attract research funding and private investors.

UPMC also is the foundation’s technical adviser for design, construction, and start-up of the facility.

For more information, please visit Ri.Med Foundation's homepage.

UPMC Institute for Health Chianciano Terme

UPMC partnered with Terme di Chianciano to develop UPMC Institute for Health Chianciano Terme in Siena, Tuscany. Opened in 2014, it combined the well-known treatments of the Chianciano Spa, as well as UPMC’s clinical, scientific, and management expertise.

The facility, built onto the Spa’s thermal water therapies, offers diagnostic screenings, imaging, and procedures for:

  • Liver and digestive disorders
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes

For more information, please visit the UPMC Institute for Health’s homepage.