Personalisation of care: IBSA Foundation’s Special Forum Personalised Therapy in Oncology focused on this issue27 June 2023
IBSA has always placed the patient at the centre of all its activities. And the IBSA Foundation for scientific research – the main promoter of the Group’s social responsibility activities – also follows this philosophy. Through its many activities, the IBSA Foundation contributes to disseminate scientific culture and promote the dialogue between humanistic and scientific knowledge with innovative languages and approaches that involve the community at all levels.
True to its vision of going beyond care, on June 16 IBSA Foundation organised in Lugano the Special Forum Personalized Therapy in Oncology, a scientific event that focused on the personalisation of care, a research area that has become essential in the context of the modern approach to medicine, especially in oncology.
The interaction between international experts
The Special Forum Personalized Therapy in Oncology was an opportunity to take stock of the innovations and goals achieved so far in oncology. The meeting took place as part of the 17th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML), one of the leading international events in the field of research and treatment of lymphoid neoplasms.
During the Forum, particular attention was given to the therapeutic innovations in the field of precision medicine, that today can construct a personalised approach to care, based on the specific molecular characteristics of the tumors and on the patient’s genetic peculiarities.
The latest research in this area was presented by international experts, including Hans Clevers (MD, PhD, Professor of Molecular Genetics at Utrecht University, Head of Pharma Research and Early Development and Member of the Enlarged Corporate Executive Committee at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd); René Berndards (PHD, Professor of Molecular Carcinogenesis at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis); and Arianna Baggiolini (Assistant Professor at the Università della Svizzera italiana and Group Leader at the Institute of Oncology Research, Institutes of Science – BIOS+).
The forum was aimed at discussing and highlighting the latest findings and goals of personalised medical oncology.
The concept of personalisation of care finds a particular application in oncology due to the ability of tumors to develop while resisting traditional therapies, and in different ways, depending on genetic and environmental characteristics. The increasingly complete characterisation of the DNA alterations occurring in cancer patients and the discovery of new tumour mechanisms have indeed made it possible to develop highly specific, molecular treatments – the so-called target therapy – capable of hitting certain molecular “targets” in a focused way. For example, since drug resistance is a major obstacle in cancer care, a rational combination of drugs based on the deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms determining this resistance is a potentially very effective tool in the treatment of cancer.
Scientific research continues to progress, in order to understand how to apply these personalised treatment methods to a larger number of tumors, to study the mechanisms of resistance and to develop less invasive and more detailed diagnostic tests.