Important funding for lymphoma research at IOR

Prof. Francesco Bertoni
Prof. Francesco Bertoni

Institutional Communication Service

18 July 2022

The Swiss Cancer Research Foundation is the largest cancer research funding organization in Switzerland. The Swiss Cancer Research Foundation supports innovative cancer research projects selected by a Scientific Committee. Among the projects selected in the first semester of 2022, there is also a project from the IOR, led by Prof. Francesco Bertoni.

Twice a year, the Swiss Cancer Research Foundation, in close cooperation with its partner organization - the Swiss Cancer League - allocates significant funds to support selected research projects.

In the first half of 2022, the Scientific Committee evaluated 74 applications with a total of 23 million francs. 47 out of the 74 applications were evaluated as promising by the Scientific Commission and were therefore recommended for funding. Among the recommended projects, the Swiss Cancer Research Foundation decided to fund a total of 26 research projects, including a IOR research project in the field of lymphomas led by Prof. Francesco Bertoni.


The selected project

The project, entitled 'G protein-coupled receptors of the olfactory receptors' family provide novel therapeutic opportunities against lymphoma cells', as the title explains, aims to study a new possible therapeutic target in lymphomas. Olfactory receptors, initially identified as expressed only in cells involved in the recognition of odors, are actually expressed in several tissues, including tumors.

Preliminary data of our lab, which show that some of these proteins are also important for lymphoma cells, were presented at the last congress of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) held last April in New Orleans, at a conference on lymphomas held in Boston organized by AACR together with the International Conference on Malignant Lymphomas (ICML).  

This new project, which will be carried out together with Andrea Cavalli, group leader at the IRB and in collaboration with researchers in the United States (Prof. Hiroaki Matsunami, expert in olfactory receptors) and in Italy (Prof. Paola Barraja, expert in chemistry), will allow us to further study the topic and find molecules to block these receptors and, therefore, target lymphoma cells.


The Swiss Cancer Research Foundation

Since 1991, the Swiss Cancer Research Foundation has been supporting all areas of cancer research with the help of donations. Special emphasis is placed on supporting research that is close to the patient, whose results can directly benefit patients.

To decided which research projects to support, the Council relies on the recommendations of the Scientific Commission (WiKo), which reviews all applications according to clearly defined criteria.

The Swiss Cancer Research Foundation is also part of the Swiss Cancer Association, Oncosuisse, and in this role supports the development and implementation of measures to fight cancer in Switzerland. The goal of Oncosuisse and its network organization "Oncosuisse Forum" is to join forces to help patients affected by cancer, to ensure equity of access and high quality, and to be the interlocutor for the political world.