A regional oncology network addressing the emerging problem of colorectal cancer in young individuals using an integrative omics approach to decipher mechanisms of cancer immunoediting as candidate targets of new therapies.

The coordinator of this project is ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano NiguardaThe Principal Investigator responsible of the project is Prof. Salvatore Siena.

 Pathology of interest:  Colorectal cancer
 Area of research:  Oncology
 Start date:  January 1, 2020
 End date:  December 31, 2022 (extended until November 30, 2023)
 Funding:  € 3.150.000,00
 Project partners: - ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda – leading partner
- Università degli Studi di Milano
- Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
- Fondazione Istituto Nazionale di Genetica Molecolare (INGM)


Colorectal cancer is the third leading cancer cause of death. Although the incidence of this disease has greatly reduced in recent years in individuals over 50 years old (mainly thanks to prevention screening), in younger individuals is dramatically increasing. The latter represents a sensitive category of patients as they are difficult to be early identified and to treat given the aggressiveness of the cancer and poor prognosis. This cancer has become a health problem also in Italy and Lombardy, because causes are unknown, early diagnostic screenings and effective treatments don’t exist.

We intend to study early onset colorectal cancer in order to identify new possible preventive early screenings and new therapeutic targets that can be translated into new experimental treatments. Our study proposes to understand the most obscure mechanism s of this enigmatic tum or, and to explore the promising frontier of immunotherapy. To do this it is necessary to understand the interactions that exist within the tumor between the cells of the immune system and the malignant ones, in an attempt to find the brakes that inhibit the triggering of the immune response and therefore the destruction of the tumor. For the development of our project, we propose to implement the latest generation of technologies that pass through the next generation sequencing approaches and omics. The study will be conducted among four Italian excellences working in synergism (Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, in collaboration with UNIMI, UNIMIB, INGM) that aim to obtain a clear portrait of the molecular mechanism s that guide the development of the disease and new possibilities for early diagnosis and treatment. 


ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, coordinator of the project, has published the following news on its website: https://www.ospedaleniguarda.it/news/leggi/tumore-al-colon-retto-una-rete-oncologica-per-le-forme-giovanili

Università degli Studi di Milano, partner of the project, has published a press release on the study on its website, and an article on Nature Genetics