Research topics and methodology

The translational oncology laboratory (Chief Prof. Giuseppe Tonini, Co-Chief Prof. Daniele Santini) is a multidisciplinary group of doctors and biologists with consolidated experience in oncology, cellular and molecular biology, immunology, bioinformatics and statistics.

In particular, the main research projects are coordinated by the medical researcher Dr. Francesco Pantano and carried out by the team of biologists: Dr. Michele Iuliani, Dr. Giulia Ribelli and Dr. Sonia Simonetti. The principal research topics are:

- Identification of new cellular and molecular targets for the treatment of solid tumors

- Evaluation of anticancer drug effects on the bone microenvironment

- Identification of new circulating biomarkers predictive of response to immunotherapies in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer

-  Identification of new predictive factors involved in tumor progression and resistance to anticancer therapies in patients affected by advanced soft tissue sarcomas.

Moreover, the laboratory carries out several projects in collaboration with other Research Units of Campus Bio-medico University:

  • Anatomical Pathology Unit for the identification of molecular profiles predictive of response to immunotherapy by Nanostring technology
  • Orthopedic Surgery Unit for the development of primary cellular models that reproduce the bone microenvironment for in vitro studies
  • Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Unit for the study of new techniques of stem cells isolation from adipose tissue
  • Tissue Engineering Unit for the study of the interaction between cancer stem cells and the immune system through cell-on-chip models
  • Electronic engineering Unit for the study of volatile organic compounds as potential predictors of immunotherapy response in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer using “e-nose” technology.

Collaborations with other research centers

  • INSERM, UMR_S1033, Physiopathologie, Diagnostic et traitements des Maladies Osseuses -Lyon, France 
  • Centro di Osteoncologia e Tumori Rari, IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST), Meldola (FC)
  • Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche Oncologiche e Gastroenterologiche, Università di Padova, IOV-IRCCS, Padova
  • Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università of Pisa
  • Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Fondazione IRCCS, Milano
  • Organizzazione Europea per la Ricerca e la Cura del Cancro (EORTC), Bruxelles (Belgio)
  • Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration (SARC), Michigan (USA)