Dr. Paolo A. Ascierto is Director of the Unit of Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy at the National Tumor Institute Fondazione G. Pascale in Naples (Italy). He earned his medical degree from the University of Naples where he earned board certification in oncology. Before the present position at the Unit of Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy of the National Tumor Institute, he previously served there as a postdoctoral fellow and then vice-director of the Department of Clinical Immunology.
Major research interests have included genetics and proteomics research of melanoma, assessment of new molecular markers for tumor progression in patients with malignant melanoma, targeted therapies for melanoma, biochemical and immunological monitoring, immunotherapy and vaccination treatments. He has served as principal investigator in numerous clinical trials and has been well-published in peer-reviewed journals on topics related to his interests.
Dr. Ascierto serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Translational Medicine, the Journal of Immunotherapy of Cancer (JITC), Combination Products in Therapy, the Journal of Skin Cancer and the Dataset Papers in Immunology. He is the Editor in Chief of the Combination Strategies section of the Journal of Translational Medicine. He has been an invited speaker at more than 350 national and international meetings and maintains active memberships in several medical societies in Italy and abroad.
What are the two or three critical issues facing the field of cancer immunotherapy?
Clinical evidence emerging from the treatment of patients with cancer applying new immunotherapeutic agents clearly indicates the need to identify biomarkers predictive of clinical effectiveness that could help in patients selection. Moreover, the plurality of immunotherapeutic modalities targeting immune stimulating, as well as, the immune suppressive mechanisms opens the way to extensive testing of combinatorial approaches. Finally, deeper understanding of patients and their cancer biology, together with refined understanding of the mechanism of action of therapeutics, will be the basis for the personalized immunotherapy.
What is your vision for SITC?
As Medical Oncologist involved in translational research I would like to create a permanent bridge between clinicians and basic researchers in order to increase the knowledge in the field of immunotherapy. I feel that the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is the paramount venue to exert this goal particularly because it represents a hub for interactions among the leaders in the field at the global level and provides a platform for networking and the development of high profile, large research and clinical collaborations.