Oncology and molecular medicine

Director: Dr. Mauro Biffoni
phone: (+39) 06 4990 6595
mail: omm.web@iss.it


Department activities

The Department carries out functions of research and consultancy, control and support for regulatory and training activities.

The research activity is focused on the study of tumors, hematology and genetic basis of diseases in continuity with the previous organization which has allowed the creation of over 200 publications in international scientific journals.

As far as cancers are concerned, priority of research is given to those with greater social relevance and frequency, such as carcinoma of the lung, colorectal, prostate, ovarian, melanoma, and some less frequent types such as glioblastoma, leukemias or sarcomas. Special attention is paid to the identification of new therapeutic targets that increase the effectiveness of existing therapies, and to the identification of diagnostic and predictive molecular markers of the response to therapies. In this context, the possibility of using drugs that have been developed for other pathologies as an antineoplastic is also studied.

To complete preclinical studies, in particular in the field of tumor immunotherapy, the Department also participates in clinical trials. The study of tumor epidemiology is carried out both nationally and internationally and includes the evaluation of very large population cohorts for very long periods of time, as well as participation in the work of cancer registries.

The studies relating to hematology and genetics also extend beyond the oncological field and concern, for example, normal hematopoiesis and rare genetic diseases.

In addition to the research activities, the Department provides experts for the assessments and extensions of technical-scientific opinions required by national or international bodies such as the Ministry of Health (link to the Italian website), the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA, link to the Italian website) or the European Medicine Agency (EMA). The evaluations of the dossier of blood derivative drugs belong to this area; newly established drugs, particularly in the oncology and hematology sector; the evaluation of applications for authorization for animal testing.

The Department also participates in network activities such as the Italian Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure (IATRIS) and the Alliance against Cancer (ACC, link to the Italian website).

Department organization

The Department is made up of about 100 researchers, collaborators and operators, to which are added university students, PhD students, young researchers in training who benefit from scholarships in the context of research projects, and staff from other entities with which collaboration agreements exist. They are divided into 4 operating units.

Cellular and molecular biology of tumors
Director: Dr. Adele Giampaolo
phone: (+39) 06 4990 6571
mail: adele.giampaolo@iss.it

Preclinical models and clinical trials in oncology and hematology
Director: Dr. Ugo Testa
phone: (+39) 06 4990 2422
mail: ugo.testa@iss.it

Immunology of tumors
Director: Dr. Lucia Gabriele
phone: (+39) 06 4990 6025
mail: lucia.gabriele@iss.it

Epidemiology of tumors and genetics
Director: Dr. Roberta De Angelis
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4289
mail: roberta.deangelis@iss.it