The 1st SAKK Translational Urogenital Cancer Meeting Award 2021 was granted to Dr. Ilaria Guccini from the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at the ETH Zurich for her prior work “Senescence Reprogramming by TIMP1 Deficiency Promotes Prostate Cancer Metastasis”.
Dr. Ilaria Guccini addressed in her recently published article in Cancer Cell one of the critical and fundamental conflicts related to the impact of cellular senescence in cancer that baffled cancer researchers for years. She discovered that TIMP1, a metalloproteases inhibitor and a soluble factor secreted by senescent cells, acts as a molecular switch that dictates the distinct outcomes of senescence in prostate cancer. TIMP1 restricts tumor progression, while its loss initiates prostate cancer metastasis. The work provides a proof-of-concept for a novel treatment approach called “two-hit hypothesis” that involves the induction of senescence as the first hit followed by senolytic therapy as the second hit to treat patients with aggressive and non-responsive tumors.
The focus of the SAKK Translational Urogenital Cancer Meeting Award lies on potential tangible improvements for patient management and outcomes in the treatment of genitourinary cancers. The Award is endowed with CHF 20’000.00 and encourages the continuation of Illaria Guccini’s research activities.
PD Dr. med. Aurelius Omlin (Cantonal Hospital St.Gallen), Dr. Ilaria Guccini (ETH Zurich), Prof. Dr. med. Jean-Philippe Theurillat (Institute of Oncology Research IOR)