Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio presents oral cancer research in Italy

Pier Paolo Claudio, M.D., Ph.D.HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University faculty member Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio recently returned from Italy, where he gave two presentations of his research at the International Congress of the Italian Society of Pathology and Oral Medicine.

The conference, which was held June 16-18 in Pugnochiuso, Italy, featured the most recent scientific findings in oral medicine, pathology, maxillofacial surgery, oral surgery and dental hygiene.

Claudio is an associate professor in the cancer biology research cluster at the university’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and directs a laboratory in the new Translational Genomic Research Institute at the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center.

His presentations, which were titled “Cancer stem cells and oral cancer” and “Novel therapies in oral squamous cell carcinoma,” highlighted a discovery in his lab of how to isolate and propagate cancer stem cells.

According to Claudio, this advance allows for a two-pronged approach in the fight against oral cancer.

He said, “We can now test and select the most effective chemotherapy options available to eradicate not only the traditional target of tumor bulk but also the highly resistant cancer stem cells we now know to be the major source of recurrence and treatment failure due to their ability to regrow the tumor population. Our research offers the promise of personalized cancer treatment options for the individual cancer patient’s needs.”

Claudio added that attending the conference and giving the seminars in Italy also gave him the opportunity to highlight the research being done at Marshall.

“This is just one example of the strides we hope to gain through the Translational Genomic Research Institute – translating what we learn in the lab directly to improving bedside care,” he said. “We also have recently entered into a Phase I clinical trial for the customized treatment of small cell lung cancer, so that is very exciting as well.”