Gastrointestinal and Liver Oncology

The Gastrointestinal (GI) and Liver Oncology area includes both the clinical-epidemiologic setting and the basic sciences research area, with a specific interest in the bio-molecular mechanisms underlying the carcinogenesis in liver and upper GI diseases.

Among these mechanisms, the attention is focused on inflammation, apoptosis, immune response and production of reactive oxygen species, which interact in the oncologic network and are evaluated starting from pre-neoplastic lesions and conditions such as cirrhosis with respect to liver carcinogenesis and atrophic gastritis and Barrett’s esophagus in gastric and esophageal tumors. The research is aimed at evaluating oxidative stress-associated autophagy and microRNA, also with a possible role as “liquid biopsy”.

The Oncology group is also involved in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including multicentric international clinical trial for HCC and in advanced upper GI endoscopy.


  1. Piciocchi M, Cardin R, Cillo U, Vitale A, Cappon A, Mescoli C, Guido M, Rugge M, Burra P, Floreani A, Farinati F. Transl Res. Differential timing of oxidative DNA damage and telomere shortening in hepatitis C and B virus-related liver carcinogenesis. 2016 Feb;168:122-133. 2.
  2. Maddalo G, Fassan M, Cardin R, Piciocchi M, Marafatto F, Rugge M, Zaninotto G, Pozzan C, Castoro C, Ruol A, Biasiolo A, Farinati F. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 May/Jun;52(5):401-406. Squamous Cellular Carcinoma Antigen Serum Determination as a Biomarker of Barrett Esophagus and Esophageal Cancer: A Phase III Study.
  3. Farinati F, Vitale A, Spolverato G, Pawlik TM, Huo TL, Lee YH, Frigo AC, Giacomin A, Giannini EG, Ciccarese F, Piscaglia F, Rapaccini GL, Di Marco M, Caturelli E, Zoli M, Borzio F, Cabibbo G, Felder M, Sacco R, Morisco F, Biasini E, Foschi FG, Gasbarrini A, Svegliati Baroni G, Virdone R, Masotto A, Trevisani F, Cillo U; ITA.LI.CA study group. Development and Validation of a New Prognostic System for Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. PLoS Med. 2016 Apr 26;13(4):e1002006. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002006. eCollection 2016 Apr.
  4. Tieppo C, Betterle C, Basso D, Mescoli C, Rugge M, Martini C, Zorzetto V, Maddalo G, Cazzagon N, Nitti D, Farinati F. Gastric type I carcinoid: a pilot study with human G17DT immunogen vaccination.. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2011 Jul;60(7):1057-60.
  5. Cardin R, Piciocchi M, Tieppo C, Maddalo G, Zaninotto G, Mescoli C, Rugge M, Farinati F. Oxidative DNA damage in Barrett mucosa: correlation with telomeric dysfunction and p53 mutation. Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Dec;20 Suppl 3:S583-9.

Funding (as PI):

1. Gilead fellowship program 2013 " vascular abnormalities and hepatic fibrosis in viral hepatitis " PI:  Prof. Maria Guido and Prof. Fabio Farinati
2. AIFA 2017 grant for a prospective randomized trial of Capecitabine in HCC
3. The Exelixis XL 184-309 trial        
4.  BRISK brivanib study in the adjuvant setting and in second line.

People involved:

Fabio Farinati, Full Professor
Marina Bortolami, Assistant Professor

Group members:

Gemma Maddalo (Gastroenterology Fellow, PhD Student), Filippo Pelizzaro, Giulia Peserico, Costanza Orlando, Angela Imondi, Anna Sartori, Valentina Pilotto: (Gastroetnerology Fellows); Romilda Cardin (PhD Biologist)