The Project

Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine neoplasm in the world, with a frequency in Italy of 12 new cases per year per 100,000 people. Nowadays the fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is the most commonly used method to set the most correct therapeutic approach to use in patient care. Unfortunately, this procedure is not able to define the tumor aggressiveness level and to predict the response effectiveness to therapeutic treatment. In order to set up the innovative method for patient treatment, the project research activity will be spitted in two steps:

  1. Step 1 : it starts in the pre-operative phase. The innovative technologies will be use to evaluate both biomarkers associated with known tumors and new molecular markers. This procedure will define the tumor aggressiveness degree and support the doctors decision-making process during therapeutic treatment.
  2. Step 2 : it starts post-surgery and requires the study of the removed neoplastic material, through the creation of 3D cell cultures (organoids) come from a single sample. This innovative technique allows to evaluate the tumor response to therapeutic treatments with radioiodine and / or antineoplastic drugs.

S3 Area

Biomedical Technologies, in Vivo and in Vitro Diagnostics

Start date
November, 2018

End date
May, 2020

Total project
€ 472.294,30

Total grant
€ 339.943,51


The project objects are:

  • Provide new predictive indicators for the personalized treatment of thyroid tumors patients, in order to improve the quality level of care given to the patients.
  • Ensure patient well-being avoiding unnecessary surgical procedures, such as total thyroidectomy. Optimization of the National Health System service quality and performance improvement by avoidable treatments reduction.

Furthermore, thanks to the innovative method developed by the project, patents registration will be possible in the near future.


By the end of the project, the following results will be achieved:

  • Generation and validation of "NGS - Next Generation Sequencing" low-cost system to identify the presence of somatic mutations in the treatment of thyroid tumors.
  • Development of new technologies on FNAB samples intended to perform the assessment of RNA methylation levels, in order to define a specific profile for each tumor sample through the me-RIP system (Methylated - RNA Immunoprecipitation);
  • Creation of an innovative pipeline for the tumor samples management. The innovative pipeline will be provided to National Health Services and public / private hospital companies.


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