Pathobiology research at EORTC aims to identify and validate biomarkers across cancer types that can be used to develop new or more targeted treatments.

Main Achievements

  • Received approval and began recruitment for phase I clinical trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of plasmid phIL12 gene electrotransfer in basal cell carcinoma patients of the head and neck region. This method is expected to markedly improve therapy response with the trial representing a significant milestone.
  • The impact of liquid biopsies in different phases of the disease, with special reference to solid tumours (breast cancer, biliary tract cancers, anaplastic thyroid carcinoma) were comprehensively evaluated and published.
  • Received first omics-based results highlighting the molecular features of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells with radiation resistance.
  • Co-operated with industry on studies including: single cell genomics to identify CNVs predicting ckd4/6 resistance, and the role and possible use of immunomodulatory mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of COVID-19 disease financed by Slovenia’s research agency (ARRS) and industrial partner Educell, Ltd.
  • Virtually hosted the International Conference on Cancer Metastasis with keynotes on the challenges of malignant disease progression. The conference aimed to build bridges between basic and clinical researchers with 300 participants from 30 countries. Many presentations highlighted the role of immunotherapy to improve treatment outcomes in metastatic cancer patients.

EORTC has implemented a cross group policy for biobanking

EORTC research has resulted in the clinical qualification of uPA/PAI-1 as a class 1 level-of-evidence biomarkers for the prognosis of node-negative breast cancer patients. These biomarkers were subsequently recommended by national and international guidelines.

It has also contributed to the validation of gene-expression profiles and to the discovery of mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis leading to more personalised treatment for this cancer.

In addition, our pathobiology research has guided the development of robust, reliable and cost-effective assays applicable for routine clinical testing.

Related Projects

  • Cancer-ID: a European consortium that aims to establish standard protocols and clinical validation of blood-based biomarkers
  • SPECTA: the pathobiology group is ensuring quality control for all aspects of Human Biological Material for the EORTC molecular screening platform

Research Group

  • Chair

    Ira Skvortsova

    Innsbruck Universitätsklinik

    Innsbruck, Austria

  • Chair-elect

    Johannes Haybaeck

    Medical university Innsbruck

    Innsbruck, Austria

  • Secretary

    Eva Martinze-Malibrea

    ICO Badalona - Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Treasurer

    Maurizio Callari

    Fondazione Michelangelo

    Milan, Italy

Go to Top