The research activities of the IFO Oncological Endocrinology Unit are focused on the evaluation and development of new tools useful in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of human endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors with particular attention to precision medicine and the management of the endocrine-metabolic sequelae in cancer patients.

Research lines

Below are listed the IRE research lines of which the UOSD of Oncological Endocrinology is part.

Identification of prognostic and predictive factors in endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors.

Project manager: Marialuisa Appetecchia

Endocrine and neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) are rare tumors since the number of new cases per year is less than 5 per 100,000 people. Endocrine tumors are rare (thyroid, NEN) or very rare (adrenal / paraganglioma and parathyroid tumors) with well-established diagnostic and therapeutic tools, for which the new frontiers of molecular target therapies and immunotherapy pose new challenges for the evaluation of efficacy and toxicity. They include diseases that are clinically and biologically different, the complex management of which requires the expertise of different specialist figures (pathologist, medical oncologist, surgeon, nuclear doctor, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, interventional radiologist, nutritionist, radiotherapist). It is crucial that these figures cooperate within a multidisciplinary group that establishes a global therapeutic strategy suitable for the individual patient. The research line has as main scientific interest the identification of new diagnostic biomarkers and the development of new innovative therapeutic approaches for endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors. Particular emphasis is placed on the identification and development of molecular and biochemical diagnostic tools, as the identification of indicators that allow a personalized approach to the diagnosis and treatment of patients, through the development of preclinical models and clinical validation to be applied to clinical practice.

Drug induced endocrine toxicity.

Project manager: Marialuisa Appetecchia.

The related projects are essentially part of a research area aimed at studying the manifestations of endocrine toxicity induced by traditional systemic and loco-regional antineoplastic treatments (cytotoxic chemotherapy, radiotherapy) and innovative (molecular targeted therapies, immunotherapy) on the endocrine system and on bone metabolism. The progressive use in clinical practice of new molecularly targeted drugs (eg tyrosine kinase inhibitors, TKI) and immunotherapy (eg monoclonal antibodies known as immune checkpoint inhibitors, ICI) typically are burdened by varying degrees of endocrine toxicity, making necessary the current diagnostic diagnosis, in-depth activities, the improvement of therapeutic approaches and stimulated the search for specific predictors of endocrine toxicity. Attached to this document is the list of 2020 publications.

Regarding Gender Medicine in 2020 the Unit contributed to the drafting of two national documents on this topic on behalf of the Ministry of Health: the “National Plan for Gender Medicine” as Coordinating Center and “COVID-19 and Gender Medicine”.

Since May 2020 the Chief of the Unit is a member of the EGOI (Experts Group on Inositol in Basic and Clinic research) international network.

List of Protocols approved in 2020

  1. Risk factors in gastro-entero-pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms: a case control study.
  2. Itanet Registry: multicentric registry of Gastro-Entero-Pancreatic neoplasms.
  3. Retrospective-prosective observational study on the impact of gender on efficacy and safety of Lenvatinib in patients with radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. Gisel Study.
  4. A Study of Selpercatinib (LY3527723) in Participants With RET-Mutant Medullary Thyroid Cancer (LIBRETTO-531)
  5. Impact of gender in oncological endocrinology