Sara Pilotto, MD, earned the IASLC Lung Cancer Fellowship Award for 2015-2016 and will study under the mentorship of Prof. Emilio Bria, MD, in the Department of Medicine and the G.B. Rossi Academic Hospital at the University of Verona.
The molecular landscape of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is largely unknown. Previous publications only show preliminary evidence about the potential role of some genetic abnormalities in SCC development and progression. For this reason, Dr. Pilotto aims to evaluate the molecular profile of resected SCC of the lung to identify those immunologic pathways and molecular aberrations potentially able to predict the probability of disease recurrence in order to discriminate high-risk from low-risk patients.
Additionally, the molecular characterization of SCC may lead to the identification of novel biomarkers that drive tumor progression and survival. Targeting these drivers with specific drugs could change the course of the disease. These answers may help clinicians provide more patient-centered and patient-specific therapy, as well as enable a more cost-effective approach to a highly prevalent disease. The goal is to give clinicians specific therapy for each patient and not only for a generic organ by creating smarter therapies.
“I believe that this proposal may open the door to future additional projects at the forefront of research in squamous cell lung cancer,” Dr. Pilotto said.