Fondazione Gianni Bonadonna (FGB) and AIRC are pleased to announce the winners of the first edition of the Call for ‘Gianni Bonadonna’ Fellowship, intended to support a period of study abroad. The two researchers, who will spend a 3-year period in two renowned international institutes, are both working on two female cancers.
Gaia Giannone, who has just finished her residency program in medical oncology with Massimo Aglietta’s research group at Istituto di Candiolo – Fondazione del Piemonte per l’Oncologia – IRCCS; University of Turin, will join Iain McNeish’s lab at the Imperial College in London, to study ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma. During the project, she will analyze in detail the genomic profile of the tumor and the underlying mutational processes, using shallow whole-genome sequencing (sWGS). This new method may allow a broad and sequential analysis both in newly diagnosed patients and in patients after relapse, on tissues and liquid biopsies. Aim of the project is to correlate each mutational process with a specific tumor genomic profile and to understand how new active mutational processes translate into tumor genomic profile alterations. sWGS might become a useful tool to prospectively characterize ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma in liquid biopsies and to longitudinally study tumor profiles in the ascitic fluid. It may also help with characterizing each tumor and its changes at progression, in order to spot new underlying mutational processes that may be linked to resistance to therapies.
Stefania Morganti recently joined the research group led by Nancy U. Lin and Heather A. Parsons at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, coming from Giuseppe Curigliano’s research group at the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia in Milan. She is going to work on a project about the tracking of minimal residual disease in patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer and exceptional response to first line anti-HER2 therapy. Aim of the study is to understand whether minimal residual disease may be used as a prognostic biomarker and a tool for treatment de-escalation in these patients. The potential biomarker may be used to evaluate if these patients can be considered ‘cured’ of disease and thus safely stop the anti-HER2 therapy.
With these first two scholarships abroad, the FGB-AIRC “Gianni Bonadonna” Fellowship project begins, with the aim of encouraging the creation of a new generation of medical-researchers in oncology and for oncology.