Cancer is a disease of great complexity and continues to represent an evolving field of study with many challenges yet to be addressed. This complexity opens up new perspectives in the development of diagnostic tools, treatments, and prevention methods. It is now established that cancer is not a single entity but rather a series of related pathologies, each with its own genetic basis.

The growth of a tumor from a single genetically altered cell is a gradual process of evolution influenced by interactions among cells and molecules in the tumor microenvironment. These interactions are finely regulated mechanisms that promote malignancy. The growth of each tumor cell is determined by its genetic composition and adaptability to the surrounding microenvironment. Tumor evolution is characterized by significant inter- and intra-tumoral heterogeneity, reflected in the presence of tumor subpopulations that, despite appearing identical under the microscope, can exhibit dramatically different clinical phenotypes, such as survival and treatment response.

Biomolecular technologies, including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and glycomics, are opening new avenues in biomedical research. These technologies drive the era of precision medicine, where molecular tests allow for personalized treatment for each patient. To fully capture these molecular changes and customize therapies, it is necessary to identify tumor subpopulations, characterize them at the molecular level, and determine specific detectable markers through minimally invasive tests.

At FPS, the scientific approach is oriented towards translational medicine, aiming to quickly translate the benefits of research into clinical practice, bridging the gap between theory and application. FPS’s oncology research focuses on precision medicine, seeking to overcome tumor heterogeneity by identifying specific molecular profiles for each patient. These profiles are used to personalize therapies, making them more targeted and efficient compared to standard approaches.

To achieve these goals, FPS scientists have developed new methods that integrate advanced omics and biophysical technologies with data obtained from clinically classified patient tumor samples. Artificial intelligence is employed to analyze and interpret these data effectively. FPS’s scientific approach also extends to identifying and understanding interactions between tumor cells, their behavior, and their microenvironment. Finally, the isolation and characterization of circulating tumor cells and extracellular vesicles that dynamically reflect molecular changes in tumor subpopulations are considered crucial for obtaining further insights into the communication mechanisms employed by tumors.

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