Under this partnership, UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital in Rome will create a new multidisciplinary osteosarcoma treatment center with AISOS. UPMC will also support biomedical and prosthetics research to help osteosarcoma patients.
Commonly affecting children in their first years of life, osteosarcoma accounts for about 100 new cases every year in Italy, or one-fifth of bone cancer diagnoses, according to the Italian Association of Cancer Registries. Because the disease is difficult to detect in its early stages, osteosarcoma has a high mortality rate. There are few treatment options, and drug therapies are almost nonexistent. Fabrizio Macchi, 48 years old, is ambassador for AISOS and a Paralympic cyclist. He has won 15 world championship medals, 4 European championship medals, and 26 Italian championships. At the age of 14, after 17 operations and 20 cycles of chemotherapy, he suffered the amputation of a leg. “When my leg was amputated the chances to survive osteosarcoma were only 10%”, says Mr. Macchi. “Today survival rates have significantly improved thanks to research and also to AISOS. A lot has changed since AISOS was created. I believe nothing is impossible, and together with AISOS we are stronger.”
With UPMC’s advanced clinical facilities and research expertise in both Italy and Pittsburgh, combined with AISOS’s clinical, neuropsychiatry and scientific skills, the new partnership is expected to improve outcomes for young patients while expanding treatment options and prevention strategies.
“As a leader in world-class patient care and research, we are committed to working with AISOS to find new treatments and to offer the most compassionate care for young osteosarcoma patients,” said Dr. Bruno Gridelli, UPMC Italy managing director and executive vice president of UPMC International. “As a renowned academic medical center with one of the largest networks of cancer centers in the world, we are proud to work with a respected partner like AISOS to find the next breakthrough treatments for this disease.”
AISOS President Francesca Maddalena Terracciano, M.D., added: “Thanks to UPMC’s helpfulness and invested resources, our scientific research will make progress in leaps and bounds in the eradication of osteosarcoma.”
Since late 2018, UPMC Salvator Mundi has been part of UPMC’s growing network of world-class health care and research facilities throughout Italy, including one of that nation’s leading transplant centers in Sicily (ISMETT IRCCS) and advanced radiotherapy centers in Rome and in Campania. Under UPMC’s ownership, the 75-bed UPMC Salvator Mundi is expanding its wide range of clinical services and renovating facilities to better serve patients throughout the region.
AISOS is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to offer medical and neuropsychiatric care for young osteosarcoma patients, while assisting their families.