Cancer immunotherapy

The research group focuses on oncology and tumor immunology, in particular the analysis of interactions between the immune system and neoplasia and the development of new anti-tumor approaches. Current main research interests are on adoptive immunotherapy of tumors (Cytokine-induced Killer Cells, CIK; TCR- and CAR-transduced T cells) and the assessment of the therapeutic efficacy of new compounds, in particular the role of biocompatible polymers as carrier of cytotoxic drugs and immunogens for anti-tumor vaccination. Moreover, the need to study in vitro and in vivo the biodistribution of T cells and drugs has fostered the development of a strong expertise in molecular imaging (confocal microscopy analysis, scintigraphy techniques, PET/SPECT/CT and optical imaging), and more recently in fluorescence multiplexing digital and quantitative pathology to study the intimate relationships between tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and tumor tissues.

5 publications

Tosi A, Dalla Santa S, Cappuzzello E, Marotta C, Walerich D, Del Sal G, Zanovello P, Sommaggio R, Rosato A. Identification of a HLA-A*0201-restricted immunogenic epitope from the universal tumor antigen DEPDC1. OncoImmunology, 2017;6:e1313371.

Turrini R, Merlo A, Martorelli D, Faè DA, Sommaggio R, Montagner IM, Barbieri V, Marin O, Zanovello P, Dolcetti R, Rosato A. A BARF1-specific mAb as a new immunotherapeutic tool for the management of EBV-related tumors. OncoImmunology, 2017;6:e1304338.

Cappuzzello E, Tosi A, Zanovello P, Sommaggio R, Rosato A. Retargeting cytokine-induced killer cell activity by CD16 engagement with clinical-grade antibodies. Oncoimmunology. 2016;5:e1199311.

Montagner IM, Merlo A, Carpanese D, Dalla Pietà A, Mero A, Grigoletto A, Loregian A, Renier D, Campisi M, Zanovello P, Pasut G, Rosato A. A site-selective hyaluronan-interferonα2a conjugate for the treatment of ovarian cancer. J Control Release, 2016;236:79-89.

Zuccolotto G, Fracasso G, Montagner IM, Merlo A, Rondina M, Bobisse S, Figini M, Cingarlini S, Colombatti M, Zanovello P, Rosato A.PSMA-specific CAR-engineered T cells eradicate disseminated prostate cancer in preclinical models.  Plos One, 2014;9:e109427.


Istituto di Ricerca pediatrica Città della Speranza, 2017: Servizi a supporto dello sviluppo di un modello di leucemia mieloide acuta nel topo (Euros 70,000).
ABResearch srl, 2017:
Determinazione dell'effetto terapeutico del ligando ABRb1 su un modello di tumore ovarico del topo (Euros 20,000).
Fidia Farmaceutici SpA, 2016
: Studio di CD44 in campioni bioptici, con o senza trattamento Oncofid (Euros 10,000).
Galileo Research, 2015
: Analisi immunologiche e farmacocinetiche fase Clinica e di Follow-up, Studio fase II terapia cellulare adottiva non-MCH ristretta con somministrazione intraperitoneale cellule TALL-104 in pazienti con carcinoma ovarico  (Euros 335,780).
Bando Ricerca Finalizzata 2014-2015, Ministero della Salute
: NET-2016-02361632 Precision immunotherapy for cancer treatment: understanding resistance to therapy, improving patients selection, and designing novel therapeutic strategies (Euros 350,000).
ourth Joint Transnational Call of the ERA-Net Infect-ERA 2016:Towards a combined post-exposure prophylaxis and successful treatment of rabies in humans (ToRRENT) (Euros 200,000).
Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), Molecular Oncology 5 per mille
: Molecular basis for triple negative breast cancer metastasis: new tools for diagnosis and therapy - Extension 2016-2017  (Euros 90,000).
Bando Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo – 2015:
SMARTACT: endowing CAR-expressing T cells with tools to overcome the PD-1 checkpoint (Euros 37,500).
Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), IG 2015
: Adoptive T cell therapy of prostate tumors with CAR-redirected T cells capable of overcoming the PD-1 checkpoint (Euros 395,000).
Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC), Molecular Oncology 5 per mille 2010
: Molecular basis for triple negative breast cancer metastasis: new tools for diagnosis and therapy (years 2011-2015: Euros 801,800).

People involved:         

Antonio Rosato, MD, PhD, Associate Professor

Group members:

Laura Barbieri MSc, PhD Student (DiSCOG);
Silvia Beghi MSc, fellow (DiSCOG);
Elisa Cappuzzello PhD, Post-doc (DiSCOG);
Debora Carpanese PhD, Post-doc (IOV);
Anna Dalla Pietà PhD, Post-doc (DiSCOG);
Silvia Dalla Santa PhD, Post-doc (IOV);
Laura Melendez-Alafort PhD, Post-doc (IOV);
Roberta Sommaggio PhD, Post-doc (IOV);
Isabella Monia Montagner PhD, Post-doc (IOV);
Piera Palmerini, MSc student (DiSCOG);
Anna Tosi PhD, Post-doc (DiSCOG);
Simone Zorzi BSc, Technician (DiSCOG);
Gaia Zuccolotto PhD, Post-doc (DiSCOG);