Healthier Planet, Healthier People, and More Innovative Medical Science with Italian-American Researchers at Annual NIAF Convention

Brochure  The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO), in collaboration with Temple University’s College of Science and Technology, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), and the Giovan Giacomo Giordano Foundation will host the medical conference “The Impact of Environment and Healthy Lifestyles in Human Health” 9 A.M on Saturday, October 13th at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The conference will feature introductions presented by SHRO’s President Antonio Giordano who is also director of Temple’s Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and Center for Biotechnology and by Temple University Vice President for Research, Michele Masucci, PhD. Temple and CST are leaders in biotech research and development, and recently launched masters programs in both bioinnovation and biotechnology.

Guest speakers include Roberto Lucchini, MD, Giuseppe Loianno, PhD., and Giacomina Massaro-Giordano, M.D. Dr. Lucchini,  Director of the Occupational Medicine Center of the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai NY and  professor at University of Brescia Italy, will address “Impacts of Environmental Hazards on Human Health: From the 9/11 Dust to the Industrial Emissions of Taranto, Puglia”. Dr. Loianno will discuss “Drones for Health: Agricultural and Infrastructure Monitoring” and Dr. Massaro-Giordano will report on “Dompe: FDA Approval of the First Medicine Based on Human Nerve Growth Factor: An Italian Pharma Success Story.”  A special recognition will be given to Nathalie Dompé for her work and effort promoting social responsibility and in particular with the visually impaired.

The conference will culminate in the presentation of the 2018 Giovan Giacomo Giordano NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award for Ethics and Creativity in Medical Research by  Dr. Giacomina Massaro. This award was established seven years ago in honor of Dr. Giordano’s father, the late Professor Giovan Giacomo Giordano, renowned pathologist and former chair of the Department of Pathology, Second University of Naples, who dedicated more than sixty years of his life to the study of cancer and the role of environmental factors in the onset of this disease.  Professor Giovan Giacomo Giordano was also a major advocate against corruption in the Italian medical community and driving force for the establishment of medical ethical standards among his colleagues. Furthermore, special guest, Ms. Nathalie Dompé, CEO Dompé Holdings, Vice President, Business Development at Dompé Pharmaceuticals responsible for the oversight, market development and strategic approval of all new programs launched by the Company in the United States, will receive the Special Award for Societal Impact in Business & Biotechnology.

About the Sbarro Health Research Organization

The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) is non-profit charity committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other chronic illnesses and to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism. To learn more about the SHRO please visit www.shro.org

Cancer DNA Sequencing Has Potential, but Not a Magic Bullet, Says Expert

recent report by NPR science writer Richard Harris explores the efficacy of DNA sequencing in the treatment of cancer. Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, President of the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) at Temple University comments on the potential, and the shortfalls, of this strategy in both the clinical and research setting.

“Only a few of the genetic mutations that occur in cancer actually act as ‘drivers’ to tumor malignancy,” Giordano says. “Most act simply as ‘passengers’ in the tumor.”

“This makes finding a genetic target for treatment like finding a needle in a haystack,” says Giordano.

With research focused on cell cycle mechanisms for over 30 years, Giordano’s work has often concentrated on the impact that genetic mutation has on natural cellular processes and the subsequent effect on the growth and spread of cancer.

“We have identified proteins which act as the engine of the cells, such as the cyclin-dependent kinases, as well as a key member of the retinoblastoma family of tumor suppressors which act as the ‘brakes’ on tumor growth,” says Giordano. “Based on this fundamental knowledge, with my collaborator Dr Francesca Pentimalli, we are currently developing strategies that can specifically target these mechanisms in cancer cells.”

“Many therapies are aimed at inhibiting active oncogenes, often identified through DNA sequencing,” Giordano says. “Alternatively, we are testing drugs designed to restore the body’s natural ability of the retinoblastoma protein RBL2/p130 to suppress cancer.”

“We predict this will be successful in treating cancer types in which the RBL2/p130 ability to inhibit tumor growth is suppressed by other oncogenic pathways, rather than mutated itself,” says Giordano.

The major difficulty in using DNA sequencing to identify a treatment target, Dr. Giordano says, lies in the heterogeneic nature of tumors.

“No tumor is identical to another from the molecular point of view, and, even a tumor from a single individual changes over time. Subpopulations and mutations occur as the tumor develops, through progression, and after it is challenged therapeutically,” Giordano says.

“This often renders DNA sequencing insufficient on its own to capture the complexity of tumour cells’ genetic machinery. Eventually the tumour microenvironment affects the stability and function of the protein coded by DNA and can ‘muddy the water’ when it comes to identifying a single genetic treatment target,” says Giordano.

“Fortunately, many alterations in cancer affect a limited number of cancer signalling pathways, and we already have therapeutic tools for many of these targeted genes in our anticancer drug arsenal,” Giordano says.

Lastly, Giordano believes more emphasis should be placed on effective communication of scientific breakthroughs to doctors and patients.

“Cancer DNA sequencing, and even other types of profiling, can be very informative,” says Giordano, “but the main hurdle is the cost-effectiveness of these approaches which cannot be routinely used in the clinical practice.”

“For example, late mutation can occur during the natural progress of tumor growth, and these sometimes act as a marker of resistance to treatment,” says Giordano. ”Similar to the story on NPR about Ben Stern, a patient in which a previously treated tumor had grown back, doctors and patients should consider the timing and signs of when DNA sequencing may offer a solution.”

“But sensational announcements should be avoided,” cautions Giordano, “and clinicians should avoid looking to DNA sequencing as a ‘magic bullet.’”

“The winning recipe must be to build on step-by-step achievements of research aimed at the same target: to improve the survival of patients with cancer,” Giordano concludes.

Original Newswise Release

Italian-American Researchers Present Mediterranean Diet, Health, and Longevity at Annual Medical Conference

Sbarro Health Research Organization President Antonio Giordano introduces program at National Italian American Foundation 42nd Anniversary Gala Weekend In Washington D.C.

The Sbarro Health Research Organization, Inc., in collaboration with the National Italian American Foundation, Temple University’s College of Science and Technology and the Giovan Giacomo Giordano Foundation, also thanks to the kind unconditioned sponsorship of Pastificio di Martino, will organize a medical conference discussing diet and nutrition. “Mediterranean Diet, Human Health and Longevity” will be held in the Roosevelt Room 2 of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. on November 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. as part of the  NIAF 42nd ANNIVERSARY GALA WEEKEND. (www. niaf.org)

The president of SHRO, Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, will begin by introducing SHRO’s recent research of the Mediterranean diet as it relates to cancer prevention, followed by the words of guest speakers. Dr Giordano is also the director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Center at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

The guest speakers for the conference will include Dr Michele Masucci, Vice President for Research Administration at Temple, Dr Immaculata DeVivo,  Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, who’s research has been dedicated to cancer causation, and Dr. Daniela Barone, who will be prized by the scientific committee of the NIAF for her contribution to the elucidation of the biochemical effects of “corbarino” tomato extracts on cancer cells. Mr. Carmine Mariano Esq, chief of the administration of the National Cancer Institute of Naples “Pascale”, in Italy, will attend the ceremony, in recognition of the important collaboration among his Institution and the SHRO in the “Corbarino” “San Marzano” project.

In a side event, the Giovan Giacomo Giordano Foundation will also present Dr Enrico Bucci, Director of the System Biology program at SHRO and well-known research integrity expert, the Giovan Giacomo Giordano NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award for Ethics and Creativity in Medical Research. 

The award was established in memory of Antonio Giordano’s father, Giovan Giacomo Giordano ­­–– the late professor, renowned pathologist and former professor  of the Department of Anatomic Pathology at the University of Naples and chairman of the Pathology Department of the National Cancer Institute of Naples “Pascale”, in Italy, who dedicated much of his life to cancer research.

Original Newswise Post