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The Research Project “Francesca’s Cells”

The “Francesca’s Cells” Research Project

Molecular characterization of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Another success for NAnA! As part of the project Francesca’s Cells, the Institution managed to fund a PhD position in “Immunology, Molecular Medicine and Applied Biotechnology” at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The winner is Dr. Maria Rosaria Pascale and here is her Curriculum Vitae.


JUST PUBLISHED! Molecular dissection of a hyper‑aggressive CBFB‑MYH11/FLT3‑ITD–positive acute myeloid leukemia. Please, read it here

“ Le Cellule di Francesca project is in full swing here in the laboratories of the Regina Elena Institute in Rome. The first phases of our work are aimed at the production of a cell line that carries the same mutations found in the leukemia diagnosed in Francesca. For this purpose, a leukemia cell line similar to Francesca’s has been acquired and we are establishing the most effective methods to manipulate and analyze it. A plasmid, a “packet” of DNA, containing the exact mutations that have been identified in Francesca’s genes, was also commissioned to a specialized company; thanks to it, we will be able to obtain an experimental model in the cells with which to reconstruct the molecular pathological picture of this extremely aggressive cancer. In the future, the cells thus obtained can also be compared with the original cells, which will help to highlight any particularities of the disease.
A second line of the project is based on the work initiated by the late Prof. Francesco LoCoco. Through the Whole Exome Sequencing procedure, a DNA library of Francesca and her parents was created, which allows the comparative study of the genes involved in the disease. Comparing these data also with those obtained in 2018 by Prof. Robin Foà of the Policlinico Umberto I, the analysis we started could highlight other possible mutations responsible for Francesca’s disease that could, in the future, be used to diagnose these fulminant forms of Acute Myeloid Leukemia .
Dr. Gabriele Loiudice, Rome 02/11/2020

Gabriele Loiudice is the winner of the scholarship for the project “Identification and study of the impact of genetic variants of susceptibility in adolescent acute myeloid leukemia (AML)”, Maurizio Fanciulli, Principal Investigator. Click on Gabriele’s name for his C.v.

The bursary announcement and results are available on the IFO website.

Public call for scholarship n. 18 of 12.06.2020 in .pdf format or in .doc format
Scholarship N. 18/2020 was awarded with resolution 922 of 25.08.2020

The project stems from a collaboration started in November 2017 between the IRCCS Regina Elena National Cancer Institute of Rome – where the cells are hosted – by Prof. Gennaro Ciliberto Scientific Director and Maurizio Fanciulli PhD, of the Department of Research, Diagnosis and Innovative Technologies, Traslational Research Area and the UOC Enhanced Diagnostic Oncoematologica of the University of Rome Tor Vergata by the late Prof. Francesco Lo Coco and Prof. Maria Teresa Voso, Director.

The Research Project “Francesca‘s Cells” – a molecular characterisation of acute leukaemia – was announced for the first time in this brochure created by the late Mario Spadetta and distributed at the Treasure hunt “La Nave di Nana” on Serapo Beach, Gaeta, on July 7th, 2018.

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