ONCO-AGING – Implementation of a clinical/molecular platform for the optimization of complex anti-tumoral therapies in elderly onco-hematological patients.

Cancer incidence increases with age since life expectancy gives more time to cellular dysfunctions including malignant transformation. In the past, the treatment of onco-hematologic neoplasms has undergone a major change due to the introduction of biologically targeted drugs and to the improvement of radiotherapy techniques. The main goal of this project is to optimize and personalize therapy in elderly patients, candidates to biological or complex therapies, classified at risk of frailty by the G8 test. Elderly cancer patients may indeed derive important benefits from these innovative treatments. There is an urgent need to develop new tools to individualize therapy in the elderly to reduce toxicities. We will pursue this issue in a Merkel cell carcinoma model, a skin cancer occurring predominantly in elderly patients and we will also investigate the possible role of senescent cells in promoting tumor progression by the identification of pro-inflammatory senescence-associated factors.


  • WP1: Impact of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) on the Quality of Life (QoL) of elderly onco-hematologic patients’ candidates for complex antitumoral therapies: clinical and biological correlatives.
  • WP2: Role of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in Merkel Cell Carcinoma Progression in the Elderly



Research area: Burden of old age and disability, Prevention and treatment pathways

Principal Investigator (PI) and CO-PI:

Alessandra Gennari (PI) – Associate professor - Department of Translational Medicine - UPO
Gianluca Gaidano (Co-PI) - Full professor - Department of Translational Medicine - UPO
Marco Krengli (Co-PI) - Full professor - Department of Translational Medicine - UPO
Marisa Gariglio (Co-PI) - Full professor - Department of Translational Medicine - UPO