Reggio Emilia, Italy, the 2nd International Congress on “Clinical Needs and Translational Research in Oncology”.

The meeting, held on 22‒23 November 2017 at the CORE of the USL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, brought together prominent oncologists from Europe and the United States. The meeting addressed issues related to the identification of new molecular targets for tumor diagnosis and treatment and their tissue and blood determinations, combining research, innovative technology and therapies.

One focus was devoted to immunotherapy, one of the new areas of greatest impact in cancer care. Under discussion was how to identify the pathologies and the patients who can benefit most from immunotherapy both in terms of healing and prolonged survival. The topic of multidisciplinary integrated treatments, involving both oncologists, radiotherapists and surgeons, for treating rectum tumors, liver metastases from colon cancer, and tumors of the head-neck area was analyzed also. Finally, the issue of drug access and public health government, in order to optimize resources in terms of value, cost and effectiveness was shared by representatives of the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), Oncologic Networks and Regions together with oncologists, patients and other stakeholders.

CORE AwardThe CORE Prize for Oncology 2017 was awarded to two prestigious researchers. Professor Luca Gianni, Director of the Department of Oncology of the IRCCS Hospital, S. Raffaele of Milan, renowned for the most important international clinical trials for neo-adjuvant breast cancer treatment and Professor Antonio Giordano, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Temple University of Philadelphia (USA), and ‘chiara fama’ Professor of Anatomic Pathology of the University of Siena, for his groundbreaking discoveries in the field of cell cycle which facilitated understanding of the fundamental mechanisms at the basis of cancer and the development of a new class of anticancer therapeutics.

"It is a privilege for us" said Dr. Carmine Pinto, Director of Medical Oncology, President of the Conference and former President of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology "to be able to award the CORE Prize for Oncology 2017 to these two outstanding scientists. Professor Gianni, a top expert in Neo-Adjuvant Chemotherapy, who advanced the treatment of breast cancer patients, allowing to determine a sensitivity/resistance rating for the administered drugs in both HER2 positive and negative patients changing the paradigm treatment for these women. The discovery of the tumor suppressor RBL2/p130 by Professor Giordano has paved the way for the identification of key mechanisms underlying cell cycle regulation and new therapeutic possibilities, from molecular drug therapies to the prospects of gene therapy. Two further outcomes of these studies, impacting on care strategies, were then the identification of two additional cyclin dependent kinases, CDK9 and CDK10, and of the NSPs (Novel Structure Proteins) a new protein structure related to cell division."

This second international meeting is an acknowledgment of the oncology of Reggio Emilia, which is at the forefront of both cancer research and care. Indeed, owing to a well-integrated multidisciplinary approach, including primary prevention, screening, therapy, rehabilitation and palliative care, Reggio Emilia earned the highest rates of survival for certain cancers among other Italian cities and regions. This, coupled with the commitment in clinical research, which introduced new care strategies making available innovative medicines even years before the registration, and the results obtained by translational research and the Tumor Registry, make Reggio Emilia an Italian and international reference point for Oncology.