New competitive grants for colon cancer research

PD Dr.ssa Giandomenica Iezzi, EOC
PD Dr.ssa Giandomenica Iezzi, EOC

Institutional Communication Service

29 April 2019

An important recognition for biomedical research in Southern Switzerland: a team of researchers led by PD Dr. Giandomenica Iezzi of EOC – in collaboration with IOR and IRB (affiliated to USI and University of Basel and Zurich) – has received two substantial grants from the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research and the Gebert Rüf Foundation. The funds have been allocated to two complementary and innovative research projects concerning the role played by intestinal flora, the so-called microbiota, in colorectal cancer. The grants of 426,000 and 460,000 CHF will go to the EOC group of Traslational Research, Department of Surgery.

The researchers will study in particular the ability of certain bacteria of the intestinal flora to activate specific subpopulations of the immune system and thus promote the development of the immune response against cancer, associated with a better prognosis. In the near future, research may lead to the development of new therapies for colorectal cancer based on the administration of bacteria to improve, possibly in combination with conventional therapies, the quality and life expectancy of patients. This research is fully in line with the international scientific community's interest in the composition of intestinal flora and its role in a range of diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases and neurodegenerative diseases.

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