Progetto AIRC

  • Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro - Regional Research Program 2008 Renewal - Year 2012
  • Tumor microenvironment and tumor spread in gastrointestinal cancers

The research project will focus on the most frequent gastrointestinal tumors: gastric, colorectal, hepatobiliary and pancreatic carcinomas.

The main aim of the project is to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of the above mentioned tumors, paying special attention to the relationship between malignant cells and other key players in the tumor microenvironment.

The whole project is organized in a translational perspective, which means that particular importance will be granted to studies whose results can improve the identification of patients at higher risk of disease relapse (prognostic factors), can optimize the selection of patients most likely to respond to treatment (predictive factors) and can foster the development of more effective therapeutic approaches, according to the principles of personalized medicine.

Accordingly, ex vivo and in vitro experiments will be set up to study the microenvironment inductive/supportive roles to specific neoplasms, the molecular and cellular events in tumor spreading, and the molecular characterization of the tumor and its microenvironment.

In particular, the project is designed to address the following main issues:

1) Role of circulating tumor cells and circulating endothelial cells in the metastatic process.

2) Identification of molecular signatures associated with patients' prognosis and tumor response to treatment by means of high-throughput technologies (gene microarray, phosphoproteomics array, mircoRNA array).

3) Role of microRNA in the determinism of tumor invasiveness/aggressiveness.

4) Immune response towards Helicobacter Pylori and gastric cancer development.

5) Alternatively spliced proteins in gastrointestinal cancers.

The feasibility of this project is guaranteed by the long-term experience of the involved research groups in the clinical management of gastrointestinal tumors as well as by the proven ability to perform preclinical research, along with the availability of top quality laboratory equipments.

Moreover, the participating units are used to tightly collaborate on common projects in order to fully exploit the scientific expertise and the technological platforms of the single research groups.

Principal Investigator - Coordinator

Keywords

Gastrointestinal ca.; Microenvironment; Gene profile; Prognosis; Immune response

Partnership - GROUP LEADERS

  • Prof. de Bernard Marina - Department of Biology - Università di Padova – marina.debernard@unipd.it (Unità di ricerca: Patologia Generale )
  • Prof. Palmieri Marta - Università di Verona - Scienze della Vita e della Riproduzione - Sezione di Chimica Biologica, marta.palmieri@unipd.it
  • Dr. Pucciarelli Salvatore - Università di Padova - Dipartimento Di Scienze Chirurgiche Oncologiche E Gastroenterologiche, puc@unipd.it,
  • Prof. Rugge Massimo - Università di Padova - Dipartimento di Medicina, massimo.rugge@unipd.it
  • Prof. Scarpa Aldo - Università di Verona - dept. of Pathology and Diagnostic - Molecular Pathology, aldo.scarpa@univr.it
  • Prof. Zanovello Paola - Università di Padova - Dipartimento Di Scienze Chirurgiche Oncologiche E Gastroenterologiche, paola.zanovello@unipd.it