On seeking for predictive alterations in response to biologic drugs

  • Secretary

    Lucia Dal Mastro


  • Clinical Coordinator

    Valentina Guarneri


  • Pre Clinical Coordinator

    Arcangela Denicolo


The ACC Breast Cancer Working Group primarily concentrates its efforts on obtaining predictive factors from alterations in the cancer cells to develop specific molecular therapies to establish specific preventive treatment for each patient.

The study, which involves 16 of the 23 ACC Institutes – coordinated by the WG secretary, Lucia Del Mastro, who is based at the San Martino Hospital in Genoa – focuses on a cancer subtype for which it is currently more difficult to achieve a high rate of recovery. In particular, the focus of the researchers is on the triple-negative breast cancer that tests negative to the three receptors used in the treatment of other forms of breast cancer (oestrogen, progesterone and Her2 receptors) and for which no specific treatment exists.

The route indicated by Del Mastro involves the use of an oncochip (genetic code created in the laboratory and able to identify essential anomalies in the cancer cells) to identify a panel of genes whose alterations could be responsible for drug resistance but, at the same time, predictive of response to new targeted biological treatments which have much higher efficacy and far lower toxicity.

Besides the expertise of the researchers and the clinicians that make up the Working Group, the strength of the Breast Cancer WG, as for all the other ACC Working Groups, lies in its numbers: 10,000 cases are treated every year in the 16 Institutes involved – very high when compared to the overall number of cases treated nationally. Working through a network means working faster and increasing the probability of success in researching new therapeutic solutions.


  • Pre-Clinics
  • Clinicians