The Immunotherapy Working Group deals with the identification of highly predictive biomarkers of response to new immunotherapeutic approaches in order 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 – who is Head of the Laboratory of Cell and Gene Therapy for Tumours at the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital in 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 recognise and eliminate the cancer cells, as if it were an infection. Cancer cells are often hidden from the immune system so, in order to make them recognizable, reagents are infused into the patient to activate the immune system: antibodies and immunoglobulin that selectively recognize the cancer cell. They form a bridge between the cancer cell and the immune system and activate the latter so that it recognizes and eliminates the former.
There is an even more innovative cancer treatment that genetically modifies a Patient’s own T cells in the laboratory. Specific receptors, called chimeric antigen receptors are added to the T cells to better recognize antigens expressed by the cancer cell. These receptors are usually added to the T cell via viral vectors. Once the receptors are exposed on the cell membrane, T cells circulate like soldiers, also managing to locate metastases of the same cancer.
The focus for the future will be on creating specific, targeted therapies for each single patient, which can only be achieved through the work of a network like ACC that brings together clinical specialities and researchers from different fields. The characterization of each individual patient will enable us to determine the correct therapy, thereby increasing benefits and at the same time reducing toxicities.
- Secretary (of the Executive Board): Concetta Quintarelli - OPBG ROMA
- Head of Pre-Clinical Operations: Paola Nisticò - HSR MILANO
- Head of Clinical Operations: Vincenzo Russo - HSR MILANO
Jenny Bulgarelli – IRST MELDOLA | Concetta Quintarelli – OPBG ROMA | Giacomo Lettini – CROB VULTURE | Vincenzo Russo – HSR MILANO | Paola Nisticò – IRE ROMA | Katia Scotlandi – IOR BOLOGNA | Alfredo Budillon – PASCALE NAPOLI | Alessandro Poggi – IST GENOVA | Stefania D’Atri – IDI ROMA | Stefania Zanussi – CRO AVIANO | Stefania Tommasi – INT BARI | Dario Sangiolo – IRCCS CANDIOLO | Susanna Mandruzzato – IOV PADOVA | Maria Rescigno – IEO MILANO | Paola Allavena – ICH ROZZANO | Andrea Anichini – INT MILANO | Serena Pellegatta – BESTA MILANO | Paolo Graziano – CSS S.G. ROTONDO
Massimo Guidoboni – IRST MELDOLA | Mattia Algeri – OPBG ROMA | Raffaele Conca – CROB VULTURE | Vanesa Gregorc – HSR MILANO | Paolo Visca – IRE ROMA | Stefano Ferrari – IOR BOLOGNA | Paolo Ascierto – PASCALE NAPOLI | Paola Queirolo – IST GENOVA | Giancarlo Antonini Cappellini – IDI ROMA | Lucia Fratino – CRO AVIANO | Domenico Galetta – INT BARI | Fabrizio Carnevale Schianca – IRCCS CANDIOLO | Maria Vittoria Dieci – IOV PADOVA | Giuseppe Curigliano – IEO MILANO | Paolo Zucali – ICH ROZZANO | Massimo Di Nicola – INT MILANO | Elena Anghileri – BESTA MILANO | Antonio Rossi – CSS S.G. ROTONDO