Conversion of non-responsive into responsive patients with development of new combination therapies

  • Secretary

    Concetta Quintarelli - Paola Nisticò


  • Clinical Coordinator

    Emilio Bria


  • Pre Clinical Coordinator

    Vincenzo Russo


  • CAR-T Clinical Coordinator

    Franco Locatelli


  • Pre Clinical Coordinator CAR-T

    Chiara Bonini


The Immunotherapy Working Group deals with identifying highly predictive biomarkers of response to new immunotherapeutic approaches to identify at an early stage those patients who are likely to benefit from treatment. In this way, it is possible to avoid delivering therapies that can cause side effects while offering no clinical benefit.

The work of the WG, coordinated by Concetta Quintarelli (Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome) and Paola Nisticò (IRE Rome), is focused on converting non-responsive patients into responsive ones through the development of new combined therapies.

Immunotherapy is an innovative therapeutic approach that uses the patient’s immune system to recognize and eliminate neoplasia as though an infection. This is achieved by activating the patient’s immune system to recognise and eliminate cancer cells that are often hidden from the immune system. Therefore, to make them recognizable, substances are infused into the patient to activate the immune system, specifically, antibodies and immunoglobulin that selectively recognize cancer cells. They form a bridge between cancer cells and the immune system and activate the latter to identify and eliminate the former.

Even more innovative strategies involve genetically modifying the patient’s lymphocyte T-cells in the laboratory to induce the presence of specific receptors in them to recognize an antigen expressed on the cancer cell. The receptors – chimeric antigen receptors- are usually inserted by viral vectors into the T cell. Once exposed on its membrane, they circulate like soldiers in the patient and can recognize the metastatic sites of some neoplasm.

The focus for the future will be on creating specific, targeted therapies for each patient, which can only be achieved through the work of a network like ACC, which brings together clinical specialties and researchers from different fields. The characterization of each patient will enable us to determine the correct therapy, thereby increasing benefits and at the same time reducing toxicities.


  • Pre-Clinics
  • Clinicians