SHRO Founder Presented with Career Award and Appointed Chair of Italian Cancer Association FONICAP

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Sbarro Health Research Organization founder and Director, Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., has been recognized with a career award “for the great contributions he has made and which he will continue to make to science, medicine and research.” Giordano is director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University as well as a professor of Anatomic Pathology at the University of Siena.

The award was presented to Dr. Giordano on the final day of the second national congress organized by the AIC NET Foundation (Italian Alliance Against Thoraco-Pulmonary Neoplasms) and by the FONICAP Association (Operative National Interdisciplinary Force against Lung Cancer) in Verona, Italy.

In addition to the award, Dr. Giordano has been named chair of the FONICAP Association.

“It is with great pleasure that I accepted this new challenge,” says Giordano, “and I am eager to get work to complete the team of professionals who will join me in this adventure.”

Thoraco-pulmonary neoplasms represent a cause of high mortality in Italy and in western countries. Every year, 42,000 new cases occur in Italy and, unfortunately, a still too high percentage of these patients (30-40% and perhaps more) is not correctly treated.

The AIC NET Foundation and the associated scientific assistance platform FONICAP have created a new portal that provides a resource for patients, allowing them to take charge of a multidisciplinary approach to their treatment, exchange experiences, and the possibility of conducting national clinical studies within the FONICAP network.

Moreover, Professor Giordano was recently awarded the prestigious Cristoforo Colombo Prize for 2019 in New York, for the important results obtained in the field of cancer research and for the opportunities for study and work that he was able to create for many young Italian researchers. Presenting the award to Giordano was entrepreneur, philanthropist and president of Palermo Calcio, Tony Di Piazza, who took part in the ceremony along with representatives from the world of politics, finance, and entertainment.

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

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Celebrating Our Women’s Research Team!

At S.H.R.O. we are so proud of the remarkable advances our researchers are contributing to the field of medical research.

Members of our Women’s Research Team are currently studying mechanisms contributing to breast, lung, ovarian, and colon cancer.

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GoFundMe to Benefit our Women-Led Research Initiatives and Professional Advances

This month to celebrate our women scientists we are launching a GoFundMe campaign where all proceeds will go towards women-led research projects and further medical education aimed at curing and diagnosing cancer.

DONATE TO SUPPORT OUR WOMEN SCIENTISTS TODAY!   

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Scientist of the Month

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Congratulations Mia Robb, Future Dr. Robb and Scientist of the Month!

We are very happy to announce that our scientist Mia Robb was just accepted into PCOM’s medical class of 2018! Mia has worked at S.H.R.O. for the last 9 years and we are so proud of her continued commitment to the field.

As part of our GoFundMe campaign this month we will be donating 25% of all proceeds raised to begin a scholarship fund for Mia’s medical school.

 

From Medical Discovery to Food and Fine Arts, Italian-American Contributions Celebrated at Annual Foundation Conference

 

Newswise — At this year’s 42nd annual NIAF Gala Weekend at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in D.C., all aspects of Italian heritage were celebrated, including food, the fine arts, and scientific discovery. The weekend’s events included the medical conference, “Mediterranean Diet, Human Health and Longevity,” sharing the latest in research into a vital part of Italian culture –– diet and food. Conference presentations explored how the recipes of Italian grandmothers are among the healthiest in the world and can even help fight disease, such as cancer.

Organized in collaboration with the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) at Temple University, the November 4, 2017 conference included opening remarks by SHRO President Antonio Giordano, and the presentation of 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, a 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,” who dedicated much of his life to cancer research.

“Italians have been at the forefront of scientific discovery since the time of the Romans, and this is just an extension of that history,” said Gabriel Battista, Co-Chairman of the NIAF Board of Directors. “For many Italians, this researcher has confirmed what they already knew.”

Battista’s parents were born in Italy and he grew up eating the Mediterranean Diet. Today, his favorite dish consists of his homemade marinara sauce, which is made with tomatoes he finds at a farm, paired with a good bucatini.

“This isn’t a surgical procedure or a pill, it’s really good food,” said Immaculata De Vivo,  professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, whose research has been dedicated to the mechanisms of cancer. “There really is no downside to promoting this diet.”

De Vivo explained that the Mediterranean Diet consists of little red meat, fish as the main source of protein, olive oil as a source of fat, and lots of grains, fruits and vegetables. She added that this was originally a diet for poor farmers who grew all of their own food and ate in small portions.

In an effort to understand the Mediterranean Diet as it relates to the mechanisms of cancer, De Vivo has conducted research on telomeres, which are found at the ends of human chromosomes.

Over time, a person’s telomeres become shorter as a natural part of aging. However, De Vivo found that an unhealthy diet can contribute to the shortening of telomeres at an unnaturally quick rate, which can make a person more susceptible to disease. When participating in diets such as the Mediterranean Diet, telomeres become stronger and shorten at a normal rate.

“We all knew that the Mediterranean Diet consisted of healthy foods, but this allowed us to look under the hood –– to understand why,” De Vivo said. “We found that it is the synergy of all of these ingredients, and maybe one glass of wine with a meal, that makes the diet healthy.”

As the king of the Mediterranean Diet and the second most-consumed food in the world, the tomato was also studied by the Sbarro Health Research Organization, alongside researchers at the University of Siena in Italy.

Their research found that the genetic characteristics of San Marzano and Corbarino tomatoes help block molecules involved in cell division, slowing or sometimes stopping the spread of cancer cells, such as gastric cancer.

“The term, ‘We are what we eat,’ is true, but we don’t actually understand the meaning of the cliché,” said Antonio Giordano, the founder and director of Sbarro. “We go to a supermarket without truly knowing what is really healthy or what happens to us when we eat certain foods. By conducting this research, we are unveiling exactly what about certain tomatoes makes them healthy.”

The intersection of food and good health in the Italian community was on full display in the NIAF exhibit hall, as a crowd gathered around Romana Sciddurlo, grandmother of Rosella Rago, the host of the Italian cooking show “Cooking with Nonna.” Nonna Sciddurlo kneaded the pile of dough the way her own grandmother had taught her, adding a little water in intervals to ensure a perfect texture. She smiled as she recreated the generations-old pasta recipe from scratch. They cooked and served different recipes of Sciddurlo’s homemade sauce using the same garden-grown ingredients and unique techniques that Italian grandmothers have used for generations.

To them, preserving the recipes of Italian grandmothers means to celebrate the heritage of Italian culture –– a heritage that also includes sophistication, style, community, and scientific discovery.

In addition to the achievements on display at the medical conference, the NIAF Gala Weekend demonstrated how Italian heritage extends beyond good food and scientific discovery to include many aspects of the arts and the business world. Musical performances during the gala included Sicilian-born classical guitarist Tom Sinatra, and acclaimed vocalists Alfio Bonanno, James Valenti, and Vittorio Grigolo. Honoree Jon DeLuca, son of Fred DeLuca, founder of the Subway restaurant chain, addressed the gala pledging a large gift to the foundation’s scholarship program. Emmy-winning actor Michael Badalucco gave the evening’s welcoming remarks, including a recitation of a poem by Sicilian poet Nino Provensano. Fox Business Channel anchor Maria Bartiromo shared co-host duties with NIAF President John Viola, and honored guests in attendance included Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

“[NIAF] does a lot of good by offering scholarships and raising money. But that’s not all this organization is all about,” said Viola. “We are about community and family. We are about remembering where we came from and celebrating our heritage as Italians.”

Original Newswise Post

Muse for cancer-fighting tomatoes study? Italian food

Antonio Giordano, who led the study that showed whole tomato extracts can slow the growth of stomach cancer, says Italian cuisine inspired him to investigate the dietary staple’s cancer-fighting ability.

For his latest research discovery—which showed that certain tomato extracts can slow the growth of gastric cancer—Antonio Giordano’s muse was simple: the food back home.
“What inspired me was my country, Italy,” said Giordano, a world-renowned researcher specializing in cancer and genetics and director of the Sbarro Health Research Organization housed at Temple’s College of Science and Technology. “The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the main reasons why that population has more longevity and lower rates of certain types of cancer.”
Giordano, along with a team of scientists from Temple, the University of Siena in Italy and the National Cancer Institute of Naples in Italy, conducted blind tests on seeds from various species of tomato. The tests showed that two varieties, San Marzano and Corbarino, slowed the growth of gastric cancer cells by blocking the molecules involved in cell division. Though components of tomatoes, such as the antioxidant lycopene, have been studied in the past, Giordano’s research was unique in that it used whole tomato extracts.
“We chose gastric cancer because it is one of the most aggressive types of tumors of which there is little knowledge,” Giordano said. “There are not many therapies.”
His challenge now that he’s demonstrated the ability of the tomato extracts is to explore whether the same varieties of tomato grown outside of specific regions in Italy will maintain those cancer-fighting properties. His team is now growing the tomatoes in Philadelphia and other areas of the country to test seeds germinated in U.S. soil.
“The environment can change the properties,” Giordano explained. “The soil where they grow [in Italy] has a particular richness of minerals, is very watery and is close to Mount Vesuvius, so there is a volcanic type of presence there. That can be a major change in the impact.”
Giordano said he also plans to study the effects of food preparation and cooking on the tomatoes’ ability to fight cancer and, eventually, to explore their effects on other types of cancer, including colon, breast and prostate, as well as on neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. The study’s implications have the potential to be far-reaching—for development of both supplements to current cancer treatments and lifestyle changes aimed at cancer prevention.
“The research suggests that this kind of nutrient in general has the ability to protect our cells in our body,” Giordano said. “That is actually the major discovery.”

Thorough Genotyping and Repurposed Drugs Key to Treating Small-Cell Lung Cancer, says Cancer Expert

Cancer expert Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University, describes the recent progress and future possibilities of treating SCLC. Giordano was recently quoted in the Italian news outlet Il Mattino

Newswise — Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive disease characterized by quick growth and spread. While there has been a gradual decrease in incidence of SCLC in recent years, likely reflecting the decreased prevalence of tobacco use, little progress has been made in treating SCLC due to its complex pathogenesis.

The majority of patients, including those with limited-stage disease and those who initially respond to chemo- and radiation- therapy (two traditional pillars of cancer therapy), become resistant to treatment resulting in a very small percentage (approximately 6%) who survive 5 years after being diagnosed.

Smoking is the main risk factor for SCLC, with only 2-3% of patients categorized as never-smokers.

Identifying Therapeutic Targets in Small-Cell Lung Cancer

From the molecular point of view, SCLC is characterized by a multitude of alterations, owing to the fact that cells are exposed to a myriad of carcinogens contained in cigarette smoke, which bind and mutate DNA. These alterations affect numerous genes and pathways, but among these there are few obvious therapeutic targets. This means that the driver genes responsible for most SCLC development and progression have yet to be identified with any certainty.

However, new high-throughput technologies, which allow comprehensive gene profiling, have revealed promising findings. For example, 20% of SCLC patient tumors bear alterations in the MYC gene family. This discovery has helped to identify a subset of patients sensitive to an oncogenic kinase downstream in the MYC pathway, allowing for better designed, biomarker-driven clinical trials for these, often repurposed, therapeutic agents.

Similarly, PARP1 and Notch have been found overexpressed in SCLC. In order to target PARP1, an enzyme which, when it malfunctions, leads to replication of damaged DNA, researchers are currently evaluating the efficacy of PARP inhibitors for treatment of SCLC. And, to investigate targeting of the Notch signaling pathway, which influences the cellular life-cycle, the FDA is in the process of approving Tarextumab, a selective Notch inhibitor, in the treatment of SCLC.

Another issue with SCLC tumors is that they are mostly characterized by the loss of two crucial oncosuppressor genes, named RB, RB2\p130 i and TP53, which are less actionable pharmaceutically because it is much more difficult to restore a loss of function rather than block an oncogenic gain of function. Although challenging, researchers are nonetheless trying to develop strategies in this direction.

Repurposing Existing Drugs

Also important to the progress of SCLC therapies, more effective drug identification and testing, through the use of powerful mouse models of the human disease, put researchers in a good position to tackle this cancer type and attempt better defined targeted approaches.

Recent immunotherapy approaches have emerged as a significant new pillar in cancer therapy and are being assessed in numerous clinical trials for a multitude of tumors, including SCLC. In particular, two new agents, nivolumab and ipilimumab, have recently been developed to treat other forms of cancer, such as unresectable or metastatic malignant melanoma, advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and advanced renal-cell carcinoma. These agents have also been tested for applications in SCLC. Nivolumab and ipilimumab are constituted by monoclonal antibodies functioning through direct inhibition of CTLA4 and PD1, respectively, which are key negative regulators of the antitumoral immune function. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) was able to obtain the National Comprehensive Cancer Network indication for use of nivolumab and nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with SCLC who progressed after one or more previous regimens. The indication was achieved upon the publication on Lancet Oncology by Scott Antonia and colleagues, who reported the efficacy of nivolumab monotherapy and nivolumab plus ipilimumab, achieving antitumour activity with durable responses and manageable safety profiles in previously treated SCLC patients, enrolled in the CheckMate-032 clinical trial.

Data was also presented at the World Lung Cancer Congress on the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab, another therapeutic antibody against PD1, already approved for other diseases, which showed good efficacy.

One additional drug in this category is rovalptizumab teserine, a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate comprised of a humanized monoclonal antibody against DLL3 and a toxin. DLL3 is a Notch ligand found to be expressed on 80% of SCLC. There is a 3rd line trial which is biomarker driven, meaning that they test for DLL3 expression and patients are eligible if they have “high” DLL3.

In conclusion, with careful evaluation, a doctor can use immunotherapy as a second phase or combination therapy, but many factors should be considered. For example, the issue of whether a patient should have some time to recover after a course of chemotherapy before starting immunotherapy is still debated among colleagues. Also, some combinations, such as nivolumab plus ipilimumab, seem to work better but can be more toxic.

About the Expert

Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and Center of Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University and Professor of Pathology at the University of Siena, Italy

About Sbarro Health Research Organization

Sbarro Health Research Organization conducts research in cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the campus of Temple University, our programs train young scientists from around the globe.

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Sbarro Health Research Organization President Re-Elected to Board of Italian American Foundation

Dr. Giordano is joined on the board by Corporation for Public Broadcasting President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison and former Talk America President, Chairman and CEO Gabriel A. Battista who will serve as co-chairperson of the Foundation

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) met this week to elect its Board of Directors for the 2017-2021 term. Board members for the new term will include re-elected member Antonio Giordano, president and founder of the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) at Temple University in Philadelphia, who has served on the Board since 2011.

“It has been an honor working with NIAF,” says Dr. Giordano, “especially in creating our annual medical research conference highlighting the contribution of Italian-Americans to science.” The conference, a collaboration of the NIAF and SHRO, is held each October, and includes the presentation of the annual Giovan Giacomo Giordano NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award for Ethics and Creativity in Medical Research.

Giordano serves with newly elected co-Chairpersons Patricia de Stacy Harrison, president and ceo of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Gabriel A. Battista, former president, chairman, and CEO of Talk America.

“Certainly our new co-Chairs have some big shoes to fill, but I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with two of the most dedicated Italian Americans I’ve come to know during my time at the Foundation. Pat and Gabe have been tireless advocates for our community for so many years and I really look forward to the next phase of the NIAF story under their leadership,” said NIAF President and COO John M. Viola.

Giordano is proud to serve on the NIAF Board of Directors, continuing a lifelong mission of service to the Italian-American community. The Sbarro Health Research Organization began with a mission to foster international research collaboration with Italian and American scientists.

“I look forward to promoting the work of NIAF among my colleagues at the top Italian and American universities, to make our mission known among the next generation of Italian-American scientists,” says Dr. Giordano.

The NIAF Board of Directors includes other Italian-Americans from a wide variety of fields in the public and private sector, including a former Major League Baseball player; an executive vice president at the Wildlife Conservation Society; a venture capitalist; and an executive in higher education. More information about the NIAF and the newly elected Board of Directors can be found at www.niaf.org.

About the National Italian American Foundation
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit www.niaf.org.

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

Original Newswise  Release

Economic Disparities a Growing Concern for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

The most recent global cancer data from the WHO highlights the growing differences in mortality rate among regions of the world bearing very different economic circumstances. Given that cancer has been globally responsible for the death of 8.8 million individuals in 2015 and that the number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next two decades, these new figures are cause for concern looking at the rise of Cancer among economically weak regions.

See the WHO Cancer fact sheet, updated in February 2017, here.

In fact, according to the most recent reports, about 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low and middle-income countries. Furthermore, only 35% of low income countries carry pathology services generally available to the public sector while treatment services are available in less than 30% of low income countries as compared to 90% of high income countries.

“It is not surprising that only one in five of these low- and middle-income countries have the necessary data to drive cancer policies and health interventions,” comments Prof. Antonio Giordano, Director of Sbarro Health Research Organization, a cancer and biomedical research institute based in Philadelphia.

“This problem,” adds prof. Giordano, “is a major driver for the expected increase of cancer cases and deaths, especially among children and children-bearing women in these countries also due to the higher risk connected to specific infective agents for which there are no widespread prevention programs as well as limited access for women and children to what we now consider basic care in other parts of the world.”

“The Limited access to sustainable diagnosis and treatment in economically weak regions disclosed by these reports,” states prof. Pierluigi Scalia, director of ISOPROG Onlus, an Italian non profit research organization, “is not only restricted to third world countries, but it is likely to be witnessed within countries with higher income when comparing different regions of the same country.” “For example,” says prof. Scalia, “we could expect the same trend due to lack of access to basic sustainable care when comparing large cities to the peripheries such it can be seen throughout the US and as it is still a problem in countries like Italy between the northern and the southern regions. In all these cases, the incidence of cancer in children and economically weak part of our society is expected to rise.”

“Research as well as new social entrepreneurial models to manage healthcare,” concludes prof. Giordano, “are desperately needed to face this growing problem.”

NewsWise Release

 

Actors with Disabilities Go to Hollywood Festival, Sbarro Health Research Organization Praises Filmmakers

The Sbarro Health Research Organization at Temple University, under the direction of Dr. Antonio Giordano, usually collaborates with Italian scientists working both in the U.S. and Italy. But today, the organization is praising a group of Italian filmmakers for their contribution to medicine through the arts. Their film, Ho Amici In Paradiso [I Have Friends in Heaven], will screen this week at the Los Angeles Italia Film, Fashion, and Art Fest.

I Have Friends in Heaven is a great achievement in the honest and sympathetic portrayal of people with disabilities,” Dr. Giordano said. “The Sbarro Health Research Organization at Temple University is very interested in participating in research and assisting people with a cognitive impairment, intellectual disability, and mental illness.”

Director Fabrizio Cortese’s film tells the story of a troubled man who finds meaning in life after working with the disabled at the Opera Don Guanella, a Catholic Servants of Charity organization serving people with disabilities in Rome.

After screening at the Rome International Film Festival in 2016 and gaining recognition from Pope Francis, the film will screen at the Hollywood TCL Chinese Theater on February 22. Director Fabrizio Maria Cortese will attend, along with Michele Iannaccone and Stefano Scarfini, two of the disabled actors from the Center who performed in the film.

The festival is supported by the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles to promote Italian excellence in the arts.

Also in attendance will be producer Antonio Maria Cortese, and a delegation from the ‘Opera Don Guanella’ rehabilitation center in Rome, including the Chief of Casa San Giuseppe Don Pino Venerito, and medical director Simonetta Magari. The rest of the cast included five other disabled actors from the Opera Don Guanella, as well as veterans of Italian stage and screen Valentina Cervi, Fabrizio Ferracane, Antonio Catania, Antonio Folletto, Enzo Salvi and Emanuela Garuccio.

Synopsis of the Film
Felice Castriota is an impulsive and superficial person who lives in the South of Italy as an accountant. Both his recklessness and greed for money bring him to tighten ties with crime. One day he is discovered. The State’s attorney of Lecce proposes assignment as a social worker to Felice as an alternative to jail. At Centro Don Guanella, a Catholic charity for the disabled, everything changes. In fact, he gains awareness about his mistakes and the important things in life, thanks to the entire group of disabled people he encounters during his amazing rehabilitation path.

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY

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Micro-RNA May Amplify Effectiveness of Sorafenib in Difficult Liver Cancer Cases

Treatment options for liver cancer are often limited and almost exclusively involve transplantation if possible, or local chemoembolization and radiofrequency ablation. Medical treatments for more advanced stages have been explored during recent decades, but only the drug sorafenib, a small molecule multi-kinase inhibitor, has shown promising results and been approved for use by international medical agencies. Unfortunately, only 25% of patients respond to sorafenib treatment, so researchers have endeavored to understand its mechanism of action and discover a way to boost its effectiveness.

A recent study, published in the journal Journal of Cellular Physiology, describes further scientific insight into the involvement of a small non coding RNA, miR-125a, in the anti-cancer effects of sorafenib in the treatment of liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma. These results are interesting as miRNAs have multiple available intracellular targets and could contribute to the amplification of the effects of sorafenib.

The link between small kinase inhibitors such as sorafenib, and the existing molecular pathways that govern cell proliferation such as miR-125a, may be useful to potentiate the anticancer activity of sorafenib. Clinical applications of this knowledge might seek to identify and increase the number of liver cancer patients that respond positively to the drug.

The study includes work done by Prof. Michele Caraglia and Aniello Russo, of the University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli” in Naples, and Caserta, Italy, in collaboration with Prof. Antonio Giordano, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia.

“Sorafenib is still the only drug indicated in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, which highlights the difficulty in the medical treatment of liver cancer,” says Prof. Antonio Giordano. “Sorafenib is effective because it acts upon multiple intracellular targets and interferes with both cancer proliferation and tumor blood supply. However, its activity is limited to only 25% of patients that are sensitive to its effects. This strongly pushes the researchers to define the mechanism of action of the drug,” Giordano concludes.

“MicroRNAs can act as either cancer-fighting tumor suppressors, or as cancer-causing oncogenes,” says Professor Michele Caraglia. “We have found that the expression of miR-125a is strongly involved in the mechanism of action of sorafenib and its ability to regulate cancer cell proliferation. These findings suggest the possible use in the future of miR125a in combination with sorafenib in order to potentiate the anti-cancer activity of the drug,” Caraglia concludes.

The study results open a new scenario of intervention in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in which small molecules such as sorafenib can be used in association to nucleic acids such as miR-125a. The latter could be administered to patients systemically encapsulated in novel drug delivery options such as nanocarriers. Researchers plan to further study the in vivo efficacy of these strategies to increase treatment options for this difficult form of cancer.

NewsWise Release

Citations
Potenza N, Mosca N, Zappavigna S, Castiello F, Panella M, Ferri C, Vanacore D, Giordano A, Stiuso P, Caraglia M, Russo A. MicroRNA-125a-5p Is a Downstream Effector of Sorafenib in its Antiproliferative Activity Toward Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells. J Cell Physiol. 2016 Dec 16. doi: 10.1002/jcp.25744.

PubMed Abstract                           J Cell Physiol Link

Every Diagnosis of Cancer Should Come with One of These, Says Cancer Expert

“Every cancer diagnosis should come with a referral to genetic counseling,” says cancer expert Dr. Antonio Giordano, President of the Sbarro Health Research Organization at Temple University.

Giordano’s comments come in response to a study published this week in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, which showed signs that too few patients are getting genetic counseling. The study described a shortfall of genetic screening for breast cancer patients at risk for mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, with as many as 80% of patients surveyed said they wanted testing, but only about 40% received genetic counseling.

“Genetic counseling is so important,” says Dr. Giordano, “not only for BRCA, but for other testing as well. Sometimes there are incidental findings which can guide the medical oncologist to the right targeted approach. Such as, which hormonal therapies or chemotherapy agents will be most effective.”

The study also indicated a majority of patients surveyed say the reason they didn’t get a genetic screening was because the doctor didn’t recommend it to them.

“Most of the time, this may be because the medical oncologist feels they need to decide for the patient,” says Dr. Giordano, “and they may prescribe genetic counseling if they feel it is called for, but may not explain it to the patient.”

That may be a mistake that needs to change, says Dr. Giordano, for more reasons than just medical.

“Psychologically, it is very important for the patient to participate in decisions about their treatment. They are often scared, and to have more information can help them feel empowered in their medical decisions,” Dr. Giordano said. “It is beneficial for the patients’ overall well-being, as they deal with such a serious disease.”


About
Sbarro Health Research Organization conducts research in cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the campus of Temple University, our programs train young scientists from around the globe.

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