AIRC LECTURE: The leading role of the academic research in the fight against breast cancer


Prof. Lucia Del Mastro (IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino – Università di Genova) July 14 2023 at 5.00 pm

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Clinical oncology is a research-driven specialty and demonstrating benefit through clinical trials is how we improve care for our patients.
Research based on randomized clinical trials funded by the industry has undeniably produced progress in the quantity and quality of care, making it possible to develop and register drugs that have a great clinical impact.
Many unsolved issues are not of interest to pharmaceutical companies and are addressed only by academic clinical trials. Academic studies do not aim to register or market new drugs but aim to improve the overall treatment by evaluation of issues such as multimodal therapies, comparisons between different drugs and different drug combinations, management of side effects.
Researchers do create collaborative networks, ie Academic Research Organizations, to conduct clinical trials necessary to find answers to important medical questions.
The lecture will be focused on independent clinical trials carried out by Italian centres of the cooperative GIM (Gruppo Italiano Mammella). Main results of these trials include 1. the identification of a new strategy for preserving the fertility of young breast cancer receiving chemotherapy which is internationally recognized as a procedure to be proposed to all young breast cancer patients; 2. The identification of a new more effective strategy for administering the adjuvant chemotherapy (dose-dense regimen); 3. The identification of a new more effective strategy for administering the adjuvant endocrine therapy (extended therapy). The results of these trials significantly improved the clinical outcomes and did change international guidelines for the management of breast cancer patients.

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