February 2003
Volume 27 No. 2

-Robert Negrin (left), medical director of the new Cellular Therapeutics and Transplantation Lab, shows one of its cell-processing suites with lab supervisor Mary Grable and scientific director Kevin Sheehan.

Hi-tech ID wristbands boost safety, efficiency

New policy details procedure for missing patients

New Cellular Therapeutics Lab boosts SHC's bone marrow transplant capacity

Emergency Medicine faculty promotes specialty halfway around the globe

Revised policies mean cell phones, laptops can be used in some areas

Physicians can take simple steps to improve patient safety







New Cellular Therapeutics Lab boosts SHC's bone marrow transplant capacity

Stanford Hospital & Clinics has opened a state-of-the-art facility to advance the development of cellular therapeutics.

The new lab, known as the Stanford Cellular Therapeutics and Transplantation Laboratory, is the principal cell processing and cryogenic storage facility supporting hematopoietic stem cell and somatic cell transplantation therapies at SHC and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Located in corridor three on the first floor of Stanford Hospital, the 2,300-square-foot facility has the capacity to process more than 1,000 cellular grafts annually for transplantation. The lab is managed under the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, with Laura Adams as its administrative director.

Planning for the lab began nearly five years ago. Construction was completed in December 2002 after a year of work, and the facility officially opened in early January after securing the necessary regulatory approvals. During construction, the lab operated out of interim space in the Grant Building.

The lab's medical technologists are responsible for preparing and managing all cellular products intended for transplantation, from collection to infusion. They also assist with clinical and research procedures by preparing specimens for further analysis. Finally, the staff is responsible for evaluating, implementing and revising the procedures used to prepare cells for transplantation.

To minimize airborne microbial contaminants, the laboratory is maintained as a Biosafety Level-2 facility accessible only through a restricted-access air lock. All room air is supplied through high-efficiency particulate air filters. Staff are required to wear low-particulate lab coats, shoe coverings, hair coverings and gloves.

Kevin Sheehan, the facility's scientific director, explained that the lab is designed to minimize the risk of microbial contamination and the cross-con-tamination of cells being processed for transplant. "Every product that comes in here is intended to go into a patient, so our highest priority is assuring the safety of these products," he said.

The new lab features four cell-processing suites, dedicated areas for product labeling and testing, and a cryo-preservation room. An additional processing room is designed for processing cells with greater isolation requirements, including gene therapy procedures. The lab will also support clinical trials for new therapies that utilize stem cell and somatic cell transplantation.

Robert Negrin, associate professor of medicine and director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, also serves as medical director for the laboratory. "The ability to bring new concepts from bench to bedside is a major goal of the program," he explained. "This lab will allow us to exploit those new concepts to benefit our patients."