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University of Florence

VsantiniTeam Leader:

Professor Valeria Santini

Associate Professor of Haematology

Email: valeria.santini@unifi.it

 

Biography

Valeria Santini is Associate Professor of Hematology at the University of Florence, Italy since 2000. She received her medical degree in 1986 from the University of Florence and became a Consultant in Haematology in 1988. From 1988 to 1991 she worked as fellow of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) at Dr Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center/Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She then undertook training in the USA at the Leukemia Unit, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston.
Professor Santini runs the MDS programme at the Haematology Unit at the AOU Careggi, Medical School , University of Florence. Her interest are in translational research in MDS and AML.

Professor Santini is a member of the medical advisory board of the Aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndromes International Foundation (AA & MDS IF), Vice-President of the Fondazione Italiana per lo studio delle sindromi mielodisplastiche (FISM) and Co-Chair of the GIMEMA MDS working party. She has served for two terms on the executive board of the Italian Society of Haematology (SIE) and she has been Vice-president of the Italian Society of Experimental Haematology (SIES). She is a member of the Scientific Commitee of the European School of Hematology (ESH). She belongs to ASH, EHA and MDS Foundation. She is also an author of more than 138 peer-reviewed papers published in international journals and has been an invited speaker at numerous international meetings including the European Hematology Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO 2007: educational session on MDS), American Society of Hematology (ASH 2012: educational session on MDS) and national haematology societies of several countries.

Research Focus:

The clinical areas of expertise of Prof Santini’s team include MDS, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), and acute and chronic myeloid leukemias. Its research deals with various specific aspects of biology, genetics, proteomics, epigenetics, and stem cell biology. The list of publications demonstrates the accomplishments of the group both in clinical and translational research. The team is at present focused on the characterization and analysis of epigenetic alterations and the correlations genome/epigenome in MDS as well as on clinical trials of new agents in the same disease.    

The MDS Florence team collaborate with the following patient organisations:

Funding
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 2013. “EPIGENETIC MARKERS OF SENSITIVITY AND RESISTANCE TO HYPOMETHYLATING AGENTS”. In collaboration with University of Michigan.
  • Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze 2013. “ALTERAZIONI MOLECOLARI NELLA RISPOSTA AD AZACITIDINA IN PAZIENTI CON SINDROME MIELODISPLASTICA”.
  • Bando Salute 2009 (Regional Health Research 2009): “MDS PROTEOMICS: CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF MODIFICATIONS IN PROTEIN EXPRESSION IN BONE MARROW CD34 POSITIVE CELLS  FROM MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROME PATIENTS”.
  • Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze 2011. “ANALISI DELLE MODIFICAZIONI FUNZIONALI E MOLECOLARI IN CELLULE MIDOLLARI MIELODISPLASTICHE PRIMA E DOPO TRATTAMENTO CON AZACITIDINA”.
  • Donazione Liberale Università, Celgene 2010-2014. “RELATION BETWEEN CITOGENETIC ABNORMALITIES AND THE METHYLATION STUATUS OF THE WNT ANTAGONIST GENES IN MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROMES”.

Selected Publications:

  1. Buchi F, Masala E, Rossi A, Valencia A, Spinelli E, Sanna A, Gozzini A, Santini V. Redistribution of H3K27me3 and acetylated histone H4 upon exposure to azacitidine and decitabine results in de-repression of the AML1/ETO target gene IL3. Epigenetics. 2014 Mar 1;9(3):387-95.
  2. Valencia A, Masala E, Rossi A, Martino A, Sanna A, Buchi F, Canzian F, Cilloni D, Gaidano V, Voso MT, Kosmider O, Fontenay M, Gozzini A, Bosi A, Santini V. Expression of nucleoside-metabolizing enzymes in myelodysplastic syndromes and modulation of response to azacitidine. Leukemia. 2014 Mar;28(3):621-8.
  3. Santini V, Schemenau J, Levis A, Balleari E, Sapena R, Adès L, Guerci A, Beyne-Rauzy O, Gourin MP, Cheze S, Stamatoullas A, Sanna A, Gioia D, Cametti G, Ferrero D, Raffoux E, Rose C, Poloni A, Prebet T, Legros L, Natarajan-Amé S, Fenaux P, Germing U, Dreyfus F, Park S. Can the revised IPSS predict response to erythropoietic-stimulating agents in patients with classical IPSS low or intermediate-1 MDS? Blood. 2013 Sep 26;122(13):2286-8.
  4. Santini V, Melnick A, Maciejewski JP, Duprez E, Nervi C, Cocco L, Ford KG, Mufti G. Epigenetics in focus: pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes and the role of hypomethylating agents. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2013 Nov;88(2):231-45.
  5. Barbetti V, Gozzini A, Cheloni G, Marzi I, Fabiani E, Santini V, Dello Sbarba P, Rovida E. Time- and residue-specific differences in histone acetylation induced by VPA and SAHA in AML1/ETO-positive leukemia cells. Epigenetics. 2013 Feb;8(2):210-9.
  6. Masala E, Valencia A, Buchi F, Nosi D, Spinelli E, Gozzini A, Sassolini F, Sanna A, Zecchi S, Bosi A, Santini V. Hypermethylation of Wnt antagonist gene promoters and activation of Wnt pathway in myelodysplastic marrow cells. Leuk Res. 2012 Oct;36(10):1290-5.
  7. Spinelli E, Caporale R, Buchi F, Masala E, Gozzini A, Sanna A, Sassolini F, Valencia A, Bosi A, Santini V. Distinct signal transduction abnormalities and erythropoietin response in bone marrow hematopoietic cell subpopulations of myelodysplastic syndrome patients. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Jun 1;18(11):3079-89.
  8. Buchi F, Spinelli E, Masala E, Gozzini A, Sanna A, Bosi A, Ferrari G, Santini V. Proteomic analysis identifies differentially expressed proteins in AML1/ETO acute myeloid leukemia cells treated with DNMT inhibitors azacitidine and decitabine. Leuk Res. 2012 May;36(5):607-18
  9. Fenaux P, Mufti GJ, Hellström-Lindberg E, Santini V, Gattermann N, Germing U, Sanz G, List AF, Gore S, Seymour JF, Dombret H, Backstrom J, Zimmerman L, McKenzie D, Beach CL, Silverman LR. Azacitidine prolongs overall survival compared with conventional care regimens in elderly patients with low bone marrow blast count acute myeloid leukemia. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Feb 1;28(4):562-9
  10. Fenaux P, Mufti GJ, Hellstrom-Lindberg E, Santini V, Finelli C, Giagounidis A, Schoch R, Gattermann N, Sanz G, List A, Gore SD, Seymour JF, Bennett JM, Byrd J, Backstrom J, Zimmerman L, McKenzie D, Beach C, Silverman LR; International Vidaza High-Risk MDS Survival Study Group. Efficacy of azacitidine compared with that of conventional care regimens in the treatment of higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes: a randomised, open-label, phase III study. Lancet Oncol. 2009 Mar;10(3):223-32.

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