NIT has been focusing not only in the identification of novel biomarkers involved in cancer progression, angiogenesis and metastasis, and on glycan-based recognition but also on the development of novel biosensors for diagnostics relying on identified biomarkers and on the development of innovative therapies to fight cancer.
NIT outstanding contributions to elucidate exosome trafficking, modulation of the tumor microenvironment and angiogenesis and the role of glycans in cancer progression, metastasis and evasion of immune response, has paved the way to optimize novel immunotherapies (antibodies and dendritic cells; proprietary technology) and novel targeted nanomedicines against cancer (particularly colorectal, breast and lung carcinomas). This fundamental research has been applied to: i) gene silencing and controlling crucial genes; ii) targeted drug delivery; iii) controlling exosomes malignant transformation of normal cells; and iv) localized hyperthermia against cancer. Based on the identified molecular biomarkers, NIT shall develop molecular biosensors towards portable devices for diagnostics. This work has allowed to integrate multidisciplinary international networks (MSCA-ITN-GlycoCan; ERANET; & M-ERA) that strongly include biopharma.
In 2013-2017, NIT published 141 papers in international journals with more than 1224 citations, 23 books or book chapters, and 3 patents; supervised 17 PhD theses and 58 MSc theses; participated in 12 international projects (7 of which as PI) and 16 national projects (7 as PI), with an approximate total funding of 1.6 M€.