Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapeutics Research Program

Program Head: Carlo Catapano, MD, PhD

The Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapeutic Research Program comprises three groups of investigators with a common interest in basic and translational research on solid tumors, like prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.

The objective of the program is to pursue basic research on cell cultures, animal models and clinical samples to study the pathogenesis of cancer, the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis, new therapeutic targets and the basis of treatment efficacy. A common interest in the groups is to derive information that might lead improvements in clinical aspects as the identification of better prognostic and therapeutic indicators and novel therapeutic strategies.

The Program’s investigators work closely with the IOSI clinical investigators within the Phase I/II Clinical Trial Unit and the Disease-oriented programs, such as the Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Group, to ensure the rapid transfer of any new knowledge into the clinics for the improvement of patient care.

  1. Experimental Therapeutics
    • Antigene oligonucleotides that selectively block expression of target genes.
    • DNA binding small-molecules that interfere with transcription factor binding.
    • Small-molecule ligands that interfere with trans-activating ability.
  2. Prostate Cancer Biology
    • Molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer development and progression.
    • Deregulation of ETS transcription factors in prostate cancer.
    • Novel therapeutic approaches to target oncogenic ETS factors.
  3. Molecular Oncology and Mouse Models
    • Characterization of cellular senescence by tumor suppressor PTEN.
    • Identification of novel compounds with pro-senescence activity.
    • Identification of senescence markers in human tumors.
  4. Functional Cancer Genomics
  5. Histopathology Facility – Histological and cytological processing services.