Preclinical studies of new biotechnological drugs. Coordinator: Tonelli

Preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies of new potential targeted drugs particularly in oncology.

Research Themes

Preclinical in vitro and molecular research includes assessments of therapeutic efficacy and safety through analyzes of pharmacology and cellular and molecular toxicology, transcriptomics analyses, quantitative analysis of mRNA variations of target proteins. In vivo preclinical research includes the generation and use of new preclinical mouse models (both transgenic mouse and xenograft) in which non-invasive monitoring of disease progression and therapeutic response is performed using real-time molecular imaging. Translational research is mainly focused on the preclinical development of new potential biotechnological drugs targeting DNA and RNA oligonucleotides, for the selective blocking of the expression of oncogenes, whose gene alteration and expression is indicative of poor prognosis in numerous human cancers.

Group Members

Roberto Tonelli , Coordinator

Sonia Bortolotti , PhD student

Selected relevant Scientific Publications

- Montemurro L, Raieli S, Angelucci S, Bartolucci D, Amadesi C, Lampis S, Scardovi AL, Venturelli L, Nieddu G, Cerisoli L, Fischer M, Teti G, Falconi M, Pession A, Hrelia P, Tonelli R. A novel MYCN-specific antigene oligonucleotide deregulates mitochondria and inhibits tumor growth in MYCN-amplified Neuroblastoma. Cancer Res. 2019 Dec 15;79(24):6166-6177. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0008. Epub 2019 Oct 15

- Salvatore Raieli, Daniele Di Renzo, Silvia Lampis, Camilla Amadesi, Luca Montemurro, Andrea Pession, Patrizia Hrelia, Matthias Fischer, Roberto Tonelli. MYCN drives a tumor immunosuppressive environment which impacts survival in Neuroblastoma. Front Oncol. 2021 Feb 25;11:625207. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.625207. eCollection 2021.

- Silvia Lampis, Salvatore Raieli, Luca Montemurro, Damiano Bartolucci, Camilla Amadesi, Sonia Bortolotti, Silvia Angelucci, Anna Lisa Scardovi, Giammario Nieddu, Lucia Cerisoli, Francesca Paganelli, Sabrina Valente, Matthias Fischer, Alberto Maria Martelli, Gianandrea Pasquinelli, Andrea Pession, Patrizia Hrelia, Roberto Tonelli. The MYCN inhibitor BGA002 restores the retinoic acid response leading to differentiation or apoptosis by the mTOR block in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 30;41(1):160. doi: 10.1186/s13046-022-02367-5.

- Damiano Bartolucci, Andrea Pession, Patrizia Hrelia, Roberto Tonelli. Precision anti-cancer medicines by oligonucleotide therapeutics targeting undruggable proteins and non-coding RNAs. Pharmaceutics. 2022 Jul 12;14(7):1453. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14071453.

Internship Projects

N.2 positions for thesis.