Fighting radioresistant cancers

European grant winner Caterina Brighi tells us about her research

Politecnico is at the top of the world rankings of universities also thanks to the frontier scientific research it carries out in its laboratories. The protagonists of this Italian record are the approximately 3,500 scientists and researchers of Politecnico. Among the hottest topics are obviously those related to the systemic transformation towards climate neutrality; and then, the world of digital, space exploration, life sciences, the movements embraced by the New European Bauhaus, the new frontiers in the study of matter... In particular, young researchers inject new life into the research system and grow innovative scientific strands. Politecnico invests in activities aimed precisely at encouraging young scientists of excellence to join in. Among many, this year we welcome twelve new young researchers who are among the best of their generation. They are here at Politecnico di Milano thanks to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellowship programme. Let us introduce them... in alphabetical order.

Caterina Brighi

CATERINA BRIGHI tells us: "Aggressive brain tumours have an extremely poor prognosis. The relapse is caused by particular biological properties of certain brain regions, which make them resistant to current treatments. Tumour hypoxia (low oxygenation) is the main cause of resistance to radiotherapy in brain tumours and is linked to poor patient prognosis. Effectively counteracting tumour hypoxia requires the selective administration of higher doses of radiation while limiting its toxicity, which is difficult to do with conventional radiotherapy treatments. With my project, I aim to improve radiation treatment for aggressive brain tumours by combining quantitative MRI/PET imaging, to characterise regions of tumour hypoxia in a non invasive way, and carbon ion radiotherapy, to deliver higher doses of radiation to those regions while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. This strategy will provide a more effective distribution of the radiation dose, thus offering the opportunity to improve survival outcomes and quality of life for patients”.

Read also la collaborazione di ricerca con il Centro Nazionale di Adroterapia Oncologica (CNAO), una delle sole sei strutture al mondo che utilizza l’adroterapia con protoni e ioni carbonio per trattare pazienti con tumori radioresistenti

Read more: all Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) researchers in 2023 on MAP 12