Project Objectives


Recently, the encouraging results of phase III trials led to the approval of immunotherapy as a second-line treatment in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). However, currently, no predictive biomarkers of efficacy are available since PD-L1 expression, validated biomarker in lung cancer, does not predict the response to immunotherapy in ccRCC. In addition, neither the mutational load nor intestinal microbiome seem  to have a predictive role. Therefore, the project aims to identify potential circulating biomarkers able to predict the efficacy and toxicity to immunotherapies in plasma of ccRCC patients candidate to immunotherapies. Indeed, soluble molecule levels could provide relevant information regarding not only cancer cell biology, but also tumor microenvironment including tumor-immune system interactions.

In particular, a large panel of soluble molecules will be analyzed including cytokines, angiogenic factors, chemokines, adipokines, growth factors and soluble receptors.

The specific objectives of the project are:

1) to identify the soluble factors predictive of response to immunotherapies in ccRCC patients

2) to monitor the modulation of soluble molecule levels during immunotherapies

3) to correlate the modulation of soluble factor levels with the response to third-line treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Start/End Date

January 2018 – ongoing

Principal Investigators

Prof. Giuseppe Tonini

Prof. Daniele Santini

Dr. Francesco Pantano

Research Team

Dr. Michele Iuliani

Dr. Giulia Ribelli

Dr. Sonia Simonetti

Host Institution

Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome

Other Institutions involved


Source of funding