LINE 3: PERSONALIZED AND PRECISION MEDICINE IN ONCOLOGY

Coordinators of the scientific report: P. Giacomini - F. Marchesi

The knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in tumor pathogenesis and progression has allowed the development of innovative therapies based on the use of agents able to specifically interfere with the cell pathways responsible for the growth, survival and progression of cancer cells. This approach has been defined as personalised medicine as well as precision medicine, if a precise interaction/correlation between the administered drug and the presence of its molecular target in the tumour can be identified. The line “Personalized Medicine and Precision in Oncology” deals with research activities that aim, in the pre-clinical and clinical field, to..: 1) Identify the prognostic and/or predictive relevance of genetic and epigenetic alterations of the tumour that can be exploited as potential therapeutic targets; 2) Study the role of intra-tumour heterogeneity in the response to molecular target agents; 3) Develop methods of analysis to follow the molecular evolution of tumours both in tissues and in the blood (e.g. The rationale of this line of research lies in the fact that identifying the possible mechanisms of primary and acquired resistance; 4) systematically biobank cancer samples and longitudinal biological fluids using standardized and reproducible methods; 5) develop clinical trials with molecular target drugs in patient populations identified by suitable biomarkers. The rationale of this line of research lies in the fact that identifying the biological alterations of individual neoplasms makes it possible to use targeted and effective therapies. Therefore, studies will be conducted to: (i) implement personalised therapy protocols in patients with progressive/metastatic disease; (ii) identify markers of intrinsic and acquired resistance to molecular target drugs; (iii) identify new diagnostic strategies for early diagnosis and prevention, and for anticipating/redirecting relapse/progression; (iv) identify new therapeutic strategies to block the processes of tumour invasion, progression and metastasis; (v) facilitate the transversal repositioning and use (drug repositioning/repurposing) of known drugs; (vi) identify new molecular target drugs; (vii) rapidly apply and transfer the above to clinical practice in oncology, acquiring innovative know-how and technologies where necessary.