Newswise — On the 18th and 19th of February, Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) Founder and Director, Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., will host an online medical conference titled, “Why do we need independent research in oncology?

The topic of discussion will explore how to develop and foster independent research for tumors like Mesothelioma, for which insufficient funding has delayed the discovery of new, more effective, and “disease-tailored” treatments. 

“Unfortunately low incidence of mesothelioma means less financial incentive for drug companies, and lower funding for the research,” says Luciano Mutti, Associate Professor, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University, who will co-chair the virtual conference with Giordano. “Therefore, for these tumors, we need to address the lack of translation of significant results provided by the preclinical studies,” Mutti says.

“On the other hand,” Mutti continues, “we are deluged by misleading online hype, oftentimes not justified by the factual data. This goes in the very opposite direction we should take to plug the gap of knowledge.” 

“Drugs approved for other tumors have not shown efficacy against tumours like Mesothelioma,” says Giordano. “A real disease-focused strategy is the only way to improve the prognosis of these patients.”

“However, we also must be careful not to risk promotion of suboptimal treatments, which tend to be aimed mostly at gaining a new market for existing drugs,” Giordano concludes.  

Click here to register, or contact [email protected]


Conference Schedule:


17.00  Europe / Rome Time

Introductory notes: A. Giordano, L. Mutti

17.10 The real world-impact of Precision

Oncology on Mesothelioma patients (15 minutes)

Chairs: R. Bueno, B. Spiess

  • Next generation sequencing in mesothelioma - E. Felley - Bosco
  • Mitochondrial mechanisms of therapy resistance in aggressive cancer - M. Campanella
  • Does Histology and IHC affects surgical choice? - L. Luzzi
  • Does NGS affect the surgical choices? - R. Bueno
  • SIRNA and Therapy - S. Landi, F. Morani
  • Blood substitutes and their potential to enhance cancer oxygen levels - B. Spiess

18.40 Innovative Models to Design New Therapies for Mesothelioma (15 minutes)

Chairs: M. Carbone, M.C. Jaurand

  • In the Hindsight what have we learnt? - M.C. Jaurand
  • Hurdles in translation: beyond flat cell biology - F. Pentimalli
  • Metabolism - M. Carbone
  • Analysis of TREGs in Malignant mesothelioma - S. Biffo, S. Oliveto
  • Microenvironment - M. Sitkovsly

20.00 General Discussion and Audience Panel - A. Sherpereel

20.25 Take Home Messages - A. Giordano, L. Mutti



17.00  Europe / Rome Time

17.00  The Future of Research-Driven Therapies (15 minutes)

Chairs: G. Baglio, S. Armato

  • Funding and Registration Process of Investigator-Initiated Clincal Trials - P.P. Correale
  • Why, when and how going “off-label” - S. Gray
  • Mesothelioma Imaging: Modalities, Volume, and Response - S. Armato
  • Science and Lawmakers: a joint venture not to be taken for granted - F. Casson

18.00  General Discussion and Audience Panel - A. Sherpereel

18.10 Take Home Messages - A. Giordano, L. Mutti



About the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO)

The Sbarro Health Research Organization is a non-profit charity committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and related chronic illnesses and to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism (

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