Basic research

Applied basic Research is experimental work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, and is directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. The Unit of Pancreatic Surgery participates to several basic research projects in collaboration with research centers at the University of Verona and international consortia. 

 

The ARC-NET Center

The Applied Research on Cancer Center (ARC-NET, www.arc-net.it), directed by Prof. Aldo Scarpa, ccordinates basic and translational research projects on pancreatic neoplasms. The principal mission of the ARC-NET is the identification and validation of biomarkers and targets for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of tumors. Our patients participate in a consented program providing tissue, blood and other biological material for research. The ARC-NET group has over 20 years experience in the collection and preservation of biological material, and boasts a bio-bank of pancreatic tissue and associated material, coordinated by Dr. Rita Lawlor. The group has developed in-depth knowledge in xenografting. In particular, they have been among the first to successfully xenograft cryopreserved primary pancreatic cancers, and to obtain novel cell lines for rare pancreatic tumors. The group has also focused its research on microarray based gene expression profiling and real-time PCR/high throughput immuno-histochemistry validation. Furthermore, ARC-NET pioneered studies of the expression profiles of pancreatic neoplastic cells and accompanying stroma, using two methods to separate the cancer cells from the stroma, namely fine needle aspiration and laser capture. 

 

International cancer genome consortium

The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC, http://icgc.org) has been organized to launch and coordinate a large number of research projects that have the common aim of elucidating comprehensively the genomic changes present in many forms of cancers. In particular, the primary goals are to generate comprehensive catalogues of genomic abnormalities (somatic mutations, abnormal expression of genes, epigenetic modifications) in tumors from 50 different cancer types and/or subtypes. 

The University of Verona Hospital Trust, the Pancreas Institute and the ARC-NET center are currently leading the ICGC project on rare pancreatic tumors, including neuroendocrine and rare exocrine tumors. Rare pancreatic tumors will be deep sequenced, and expression profile of RNA and micro-RNAwill be performed. A quality controlled prospective accrual of 250 tumors will be carried out and linked with their clinical, pathological and follow-up data for these analyses.

 

Translational research laboratory

The “Laboratorio Universitario di Ricerca Medica” (LURM) is an inter-department center of the University of Verona devoted to scientific research in the field of base and translational biomedicine. The LURM was founded with the purpose to meet research and advanced diagnostic requirements of clinical institutes in the Verona University Hospital Trust. In particular, the LURM supportd the biomedical research inside the Medical Faculty by providing laboratory spaces, equipments, resources, facilities and their management. Furthermore, the LURM promotes the sharing of technological platforms among research teams within the University of Verona.

The LURM includes a translational surgery lab (led by Prof. Claudio Bassi). Translational research is an important focus at the Verona Pancreas Institute. This branch of basic research aims at applying discoveries made in the laboratory swiftly into the patient care setting. Moreover, our surgeons collaborate with the digestive molecular clinical oncology lab, led by Prof. Davide Melisi.