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Open Access Commentary

The Italian Network for Tumor Biotherapy (NIBIT): Getting together to push the field forward

Michele Maio12*, Hugues JM Nicolay12, Paolo Ascierto3, Filippo Belardelli4, Roberto Camerini5, Mario P Colombo6, Paola Queirolo7, Ruggero Ridolfi8, Vincenzo Russo9, Lucia Anzalone1, Ester Fonsatti1 and Giorgio Parmiani10

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy, Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Istituto Toscano Tumori, Siena, Italy

2 Cancer Bioimmunotherapy Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Aviano, Italy

3 Unit of Clinical Immunology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori "Fondazione Pascale" Naples, Italy

4 Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

5 Clinical Research Unit III, Sigma Tau SpA, Rome, Italy

6 Immunotherapy and Gene Therapy Unit, Department of Experimental Oncology, Fondazione Istituto Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy

7 Department of Medical Oncology A, National Institute for Cancer Research, Genova, Italy

8 Immunotherapy and Somatic Cell Therapy Unit, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo studio e la cura dei tumori, Forlì, Italy

9 Cancer Gene Therapy Unit, Department of Oncology, Scientific Institute S. Raffaele, Milan, Italy

10 Department of Oncology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2008, 6:8  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-6-8

Published: 12 February 2008

Abstract

As for a consolidated tradition, the 5th annual meeting of the Italian Network for Cancer Biotherapy took place in the Certosa of Pontignano, a Tuscan monastery, on September 20–22, 2007. The congress gathered more than 40 Italian leading groups representing academia, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Aim of the meeting was to share new advances in cancer bio-immunotherapy and to promote their swift translation from pre-clinical research to clinical applications. Several topics were covered including: a) molecular and cellular mechanisms of tumor escape; b) therapeutic antibodies and recombinant constructs; c) clinical trials up-date and new programs; d) National Cooperative Networks and their potential interactions; e) old and new times in cancer immunology, an "amarcord". Here, we report the main issues discussed during the meeting.