Doctor Valter Torri of Heal Italia explains the progress of the techniques for the fight against cancer to the IRCCS Mario Negri

The importance of cancer prevention and scientific research to identify new treatments to deal with this still too widespread disease are the main objective pursued by IRCCS Mario Negri, partner of Heal Italia. 

The Institute studies a wide range of tumors, with particular attention to gynecological ones, sarcomas, thoracic tumors (lung, mesotheliomas), pancreatic tumors, rare tumors such as thymomas.

«Thinking about the recent results, precisely in the context of this rare tumor of the thoracic cavity which affects one person in a million every year, – explains Massimo Broggini Head of the Department of Experimental Oncology – in 2023 we obtained significant results with the Relevent study, which managed, thanks to the participation of several Italian hospitals, to involve 41 Italian patients with advanced thymic carcinoma, showing promising results in the use of the drug ramucirumab in addition to standard chemotherapy, with a response exceeding expectations.”

«A second study presented at the Esmo oncology congress in Madrid – continues Valter Torri, Head of the Department of Clinical Oncology – concerns endometrial cancer. The Attend study, which involved 551 patients, demonstrated that the combined use of the immunotherapy atezolizumab with chemotherapy improves survival in patients with metastatic and recurrent endometrial cancer.”

2024 starts in the name of new techniques and instruments that the Institute has implemented. The use of gene therapy via CRISPR, a powerful technique that acts like a real molecular scissors, will be the tool to understand which genes are crucial for tumor growth. Another challenge that will see researchers engaged in 2024 is to understand the timing of the onset of resistance to drug treatment, carefully monitoring how the effectiveness of drugs decreases over time.

Thanks to the development of systems that allow the evaluation, in a single experiment, of the anti-tumor activity of over 2,500 molecules already approved and used to treat various pathologies, Oncology departments will be able to open up new perspectives in the anti-tumor field by encouraging the rapid use of drugs already known in other contexts.

Source: Corriere della Sera Bergamo