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Alliance Against Cancer

Alliance Against Cancer

Alliance Against Cancer (Alleanza Contro il Cancro, ACC) is the Italian Oncology Network founded by the Italian Ministry of Health. To date, members of ACC include 28 Italian Comprehensive Cancer Centres, together with the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), the Polytechnic Foundation in Milan, the Italian Association of Cancer Patients (AIMaC), the National Center for Hadrontherapy and the Italian National Institute of Health. ACC’s mission is to bring technological and organizational innovation from basic research to clinical practice, raising and unifying the level of care, treatment, and rehabilitation of cancer patients throughout the country. ACC operates in three main areas: translational and clinical cancer research, cancer diagnosis and therapy, education and communication in oncology. Since its foundation in 2002, ACC has regularly collaborated with the Italian Ministry of Health, assuming a leading role in numerous national and European research projects as well as networking activities. As such, ACC will bring both technical expertise and strategic role to contribute to the success of the coordination and support action.

Biographies of team members

Franco Locatelli

Franco Locatelli is a Full Professor of Pediatrics at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, President of the Italian Higher Council Health and Head of the Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, at the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome. He is a renowned expert of haematological malignant and non-malignant disorders of childhood. He is the chairperson of the current diagnostic and treatment protocol for children with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia of childhood, and chairs the working group on relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Italy. He is chairperson of the international protocol of chemotherapy-free treatment of childhood acute promyelocytic leukemia. During his career, he has provided relevant contributions in the study of childhood leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, thalassemia, innate immunity, immune reconstitution after transplantation, tumour immunology, induction of tolerance towards alloantigens and anti-viral cellular immunity. His current research interests are CAR T cells for both B-cell malignancies and solid tumours, T cells genetically modified with a suicide gene to accelerate immune recovery after allogeneic cell transplantation and gene therapy/genome editing for hemoglobinopathies.

Ruggero De Maria

Ruggero De Maria is a Full Professor of Pathology at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy, where he also serves as Deputy Scientific Director of Agostino Gemelli University Hospital. He is President of Alliance Against Cancer, the Italian network of comprehensive cancer centres, as well as of the Italian Institute for Genomic Medicine in Turin, a national reference centre for precision medicine. He is internationally recognized for his pioneering work on cancer stem cells. His groundbreaking discovery of cancer stem cells in lung and colon cancer revolutionized our understanding of cancer biology and paved the way to the development of innovative targeted therapies. His research activity also contributed to uncover the angiogenic activity of glioblastoma stem cells, and to identify cells and mechanisms responsible for metastatization in breast and colon cancer. His current projects are aimed at designing novel therapies based on cancer stem cell targeting.

Piergiuseppe Pelicci

Piergiuseppe Pelicci is Full Professor of Pathology at the University of Milan, Chairman of the Department of Experimental Oncology at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan, President of the European School of Molecular Medicine (SEMM) and Scientific Director of Alliance against Cancer. At IEO, he is responsible for strategic planning of research programmes, including basic, translational and clinical research. He contributed to seminal discoveries on the mechanisms of tumorigenesis in leukemia and the molecular bases of some of currently used targeted treatments (such as retinoic acid, HDAC- or histone- demethylase inhibitors). More recently, he has been focusing on the biological and molecular characterization of normal and cancer stem cells, in leukemia and breast cancer, mechanisms of DNA damage accumulation in cancer cells, and intratumor heterogeneity, with the aim of defining its role during tumor progression and treatment resistance.

Giuseppe Curigliano

Giuseppe Curigliano is Full Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Milan and Director of the Clinical Division of Early Drug Development at European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy. He is an expert in the field of advanced drug development in solid tumors, with specific interest on breast cancer. Its clinical activity is based on the genetic characterization of tumors and on testing new experimental drugs specific for particular groups of patients. He contributed to the development of many anticancer treatments currently available as standard of care in the treatment of multiple solid tumors. Since 2001 he is tenure-track and full-time cancer specialist at European Institute of Oncology – one of the world’s leading cancer-research institutes and the premier Cancer Center in Italy and third in Europe. He serves as member of the Italian Higher Council Health and as Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee of ESMO. He was awarded with the first ESO Umberto Veronesi Award in Vienna in 2017 and with the Fellowship of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences in Paris in 2017. He has contributed to over 570 peer-reviewed publications.