Profile of Dr. Marco Zecca

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Dr. Marco Zecca is the Director of the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy.

This department specializes in the treatment of children effected by hematological pathologies, both malignant and non malignant. This Unit has performed the largest number of allografts for pediatric patients in Italy and represents one of the most active and experienced Institutions in the field of HSCT world-wide. Over the last 20 years, more than 1000 transplants have been performed, averaging 80 per year over the last ten years.

For those patients in urgent need and without a closely matched donor, the center is highly specialized in HSCT using alternative sources including: i) HLA-identical sibling donors; ii) unrelated bone marrow or peripheral blood donors; iii) unrelated cord blood; and iv) HLA-haploidentical relative donors.

Dr. Zecca has been a close collaborator of the former Director, Prof. Locatelli, since 1989, and has been appointed his present position in February 2010.

Dr. Zecca is also active in the field of clinical research, and has directed his efforts towards the development of new conditioning regimens for HSCT in patients with acute leukemias and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Another field of interest has been the study of the characterization and treatment of Graft-versus-Host-Disease, a frequent and serious post transplantation complication. Over the years, he has also made relevant contributions to Data Management and Biomedical Statistics applied to Hematology/Oncology. In fact, he acts as data manager for the Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (AIEOP), whose activities are closely associated with the Registry for the European Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Society. 

In the field of non-malignant hematological diseases, he focused on the study of congenital and acquired anemias and thrombocytopenias, in particular he pioneered the use of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune cytopenias.

Moreover, Dr. Zecca is the coordinator of the Italian Study Group on Myelodisplastic Syndromes, that operates in close contact with the European Working Group on Myelodysplastic Syndromes in Childhood (EWOG-MDS). 

As Director of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Dr. Zecca also leads the team at the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Laboratories which have been active for more than ten years in the field of adoptive T-cell therapy for the treatment of viral infections and related diseases arising in immune suppressed hosts.