5 Things Everyone Needs To Know About Cancer

Dr Antonio Giordano, Director & Founder of Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO), Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

Recently Dr. Antonio Giordano was interviewed by 'Authority Magazine' (link here), a Medium Publication and a great team of writers and editors devoted towards interviewing Authority Personalities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Technology. Dr. Antonio Giordano was invited to interview as an expert to talk about his career as a scientist, his research work, and Sbarro Health Research Organization's groundbreaking research to diagnose, treat and cure cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses.

Cancer is a treatable disease if caught early, but there are still some common misconceptions among the masses about this disease. Therefore to clear through the clutter Mr. Savio P. Clemente, Interviewer of Dr. Antonio Giordano, asked a simple question: "What are the 5 things everyone needs to know about cancer?"

Below are the 5 things everyone needs to know about cancer, by Dr. Antonio Giordano:

1. Early Detection: Cancer is a treatable disease if caught early. For example, most ovarian cancers are detected at a late stage (Stage III or higher) and by this time, the cancer is less sensitive to many of the therapies we have available for this disease. The same for breast cancer. Much work and effort among researchers are dedicated to the early detection of cancer.

2. Genetic Testing: Each person’s tumor is different and genetic testing is critical to find the best therapy to suit individual cancer. Precision and personalized medicine have been possible because of the advances we have made in genetic sequencing. In addition, we have been able to find genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing cancer, such as colon, ovarian, and breast cancer. We are now understanding how to take advantage of these mutations to develop therapies for these particular patients.

3. Institutional Cancer Research and its Funding: Well-funded basic research is the driver of discovery for new cancer therapies. The discoveries of RB2/p130 and the cell cycle kinases CDK9 and CDK10, are two other key players in cell cycle regulation and cell differentiation. In addition, the link between cancer and proliferation that I found in 1989, paved the way for the development of multiple therapies, some of which are just now finding their successful application into clinical practice. Due to the many fiscal constraints on government-funded research agencies, many excellent research programs have been shuttered. However, at SHRO, we have built a research program using innovative sources of funding to continue our mission to find a cure for this deadly disease. We have also built a collaborative network of international researchers at SHRO. Collaboration is key to future success in cancer research.

4. Environmental Risks and Lifestyle Changes: Many cancers can be preventable. We have shown links between environmental contamination and the incidence of cancer around the Campania region in Italy. In addition, it is clear that asbestos remediation and the bans on the use of asbestos have reduced mesothelioma incidence. We have also shown that a Mediterranean diet confers epigenetic changes that can reduce the incidence of many cancers and that lifestyle changes are important in reducing your risk to develop cancer. The link between smoking cessation and a decrease in lung cancer rate is very strong.

5. Cancer Treatments and Therapies: Cancer is also a disease of misregulation. Many years ago I showed how misregulation of the cell cycle resulted in uncontrolled proliferation, which was the first direct evidence that cell proliferation is a hallmark of cancer. We have also shown that multiple genetic and epigenetic changes occur in the cell to cause cancer. In addition, our work has shown how misregulation of many cellular signals can induce altered proliferation and induction of cancer. Now we are designing gene therapies and small molecules to revert the changes in hopes of halting the growth of cancer. For instance, we are looking at gene therapies to reactivate various tumor suppressors which would reduce the proliferation of cancer cells.

Sbarro Health Research Organization at Temple University. SHRO conducts groundbreaking research to diagnose, treat and cure cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses. Dr. Giordano is an internationally recognized expert in cancer research and pathology and has contributed some of the seminal findings which have become the basis for our current understanding of how cancer forms and how we can treat it. Dr. Giordano has published over 600 papers on gene therapy, genetics of cancer, and epidemiology; his Google Scholar profile can be found here.

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