LINE 1: PREVENTION, EARLY DETECTION OF CANCER AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Prevention and quality of life of cancer patients represent the two main cornerstones of this first line of research. Achieving a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of cancer would ensure a more informed analysis of patient susceptibility profiles in cancer growth. Through careful genetic/molecular characterization one is able to outline a detailed molecular classification of susceptibility to the onset of cancer (primary prevention). As a result, research aimed at identifying circulating biomarkers indicators of increased susceptibility for the risk of cancer early will be included. Research aimed at identifying new biomarkers, introducing new experimental models, and innovative imaging techniques for early detection and diagnosis of cancer patients (secondary prevention) will also be developed. The early detection of cancer or precancerous change, as well as having suitable tools to evaluate the response to treatment, in addition to identifying those patients who are at high risk of disease recurrence during follow-up is absolutely critical in patient management. For these reasons, lines of research will be fostered to identify tissue and/or circulating biomarkers, the development of innovative experimental models, and advanced imaging technologies aimed at the early detection of disease development, recurrence, and metastasis. Concurrently, developing new approaches aimed at improving the quality of life of cancer patients will be favoured. At the same time, lines of research aimed at characterizing the debilitating processes caused by chemo- and/or radiotherapy treatment from a molecular perspective will be favored in order to foster the development of new tools mitigating the negative effects of treatment. Conversely, all activities aiming to improve the quality of life of cancer patients will be favoured, providing support from the moment of diagnosis until follow-up, through to psychological, welfare, social, and rehabilitation. Attention will be given to new projects that aim to monitor the quality of life of cancer patients through creating innovative models of telemedicine/telehealth technology and narrative medicine. Priority will be given to projects that aim to identify dietary principles that reduce the risk of onset, recurrence and control of cancer. Just important, projects based on developing new activities aimed at accompanying terminally ill patients (palliative care) will also be identified.
1) To identify new molecular signatures of cancer susceptibility by improving diagnosis (primary prevention). 2) To detect and validate new biomarkers, especially circulating DNA and RNA, for developing diagnostic and high prognostic values (secondary prevention). 3) To identify and validate new advanced imaging techniques as well as the development of new pre-clinical models for early diagnosis and prognosis of cancer. 4) To expand knowledge on molecular mechanisms and develop methods for measuring and analyzing chemo- and/or radio-induced toxicity. 5) To develop a clearly defined referral pathway for psychosocial difficulties for patients affected by cancer, from the time of diagnosis to post-treatment follow-up.
Indicators: Communicate/participate in national and/or international conferences, organization of specific intra/extramoenia seminars/conferences. Identify patentable results. Submit applications for and obtaining competitive Grants.