Corso RES ECM
Translational research can be defined as the rapid application in clinical practice of the results obtained from basic research. There are various examples of translational research in oncology and often these acquisitions have changed the natural history of some diseases. The discovery, for example, of the so-called "driver" mutations, gives the possibility of preparing a "well shaped" therapy, namely capable of hitting that specific disrupted pathway, obtaining a rapid and brilliant clinical response. This is explained by the fact that each driver mutation gives rise to a clone of similar tumor cells that have a proliferative advantage over different clones.
Therefore hitting this clone "eliminates" a good part of the so-called tumor burden.
There are various other examples of Translational Research not concerning targeted therapies but also immunotherapy for example. Immunotherapy is a strategy aimed at boosting the host's immune system by helping it to fight cancer. However, there are various immunotherapy techniques and the most efficient are those that arise from a deep knowledge of the anti-cancer immune response, such as therapies that "remove the so-called inhibitory brakes" that often block the cells of the immune system itself.
The take home message is that a deep knowledge of the genetics, biochemistry and physiopathogenesis of the various types of cancer favors the creation of highly effective and specific therapies capable of effectively fighting the neoplastic progression.