Overview and Background

Medical Oncology is a science in rapid evolution. We are witnessing every day important developments in molecular medicine that clearly have positive impacts on improving cancer treatments. The future will hopefully provide individualized, personalized, tailored treatment based upon modern molecular imaging and genomic sequencing profiling through next generation sequencing of DNA and RNA in tissue and in blood and artificial intelligence. An appreciation of evidenced based medicine has been responsible for most of the progress that has been made until now. To take advantage of the wonderful work in progress and to advance the state of the art in medical research and treatment the Samuel and Barbara Sternberg Cancer Research Foundation ETS was formed.

The Samuel and Barbara Sternberg Cancer Research Foundation ETS was founded in 2004 by Dr. Cora N. Sternberg, an eminent American and Italian medical oncologist. The foundation was initiated by Dr. Sternberg due to the dire need to support cancer research in Italy, as a way of helping and promoting research for cancer patients worldwide.

The Samuel and Barbara Sternberg Cancer Research Foundation is governed by a board of directors together with a highly appreciated scientific advisory board, chosen from a group of renowned and dedicated clinicians, medical scientists, philanthropists, and members of the business community.

Funding of the Samuel and Barbara Sternberg Cancer Research Foundation promotes new scientific research and allows work already in progress to be maximized while enhancing the potential for broad-based collaboration in Europe and the United States.

Core Strategies

To accomplish its vision and mission, the Samuel and Barbara Sternberg Cancer Research Foundation will support the development of new scientific strategies to diagnose and cure cancer by implementing the following core strategic initiatives:

  • Support patient care,
  • Promote the genetic sequencing of patient tumors.
  • Initiate and sponsor cutting-edge research
  • Promote training.

To effectively execute these strategies, unique resources available in the United States and Italy will be required.

Support Patient Care

The main purpose of the foundation is to directly improve the lives and the quality of life of patients with cancer. Dr. Sternberg was formerly the Chief of Medical Oncology at the San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, a complex in Rome which constitutes one of the largest hospitals in Europe. Since then, she has become the Clinical Director of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell University. She is a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, New York, New York, a part of New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The health care of patients in Italy will be greatly improved as patients will have access to the most modern therapies available, through participation in individual sequencing of their tumors and international collaborative clinical research protocols. This can only be accomplished with a dedicated staff of physicians, research nurses, medical managers and psychologists who carefully monitor all the possible benefits and side effects of new therapies. In particular, the intention of this foundation is to provide the best cancer care available in the world specifically to Italian patients.

Participation in research permits the possibility of giving new experimental life-saving therapies to patients through cutting edge clinical research protocols. This requires a great deal of organization and precise record keeping. Today, research and progress in cancer treatment involves international collaboration among medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation therapists, molecular pathologists, nuclear medicine physicians, computational biologists, laboratory scientists and artificial intelligence systems. It encompasses translational research programs that are wholly integrated into clinical trials. Translational research can help to gain insights into the mechanisms of action of drugs and can accelerate the path to tailored oncology for the individual patient.

International collaboration is a hallmark of today’s research and the most sophisticated studies in Italy are most often in collaboration with the best European and American researchers. The Foundation will promote networking of clinical trial groups, including standardization of clinical trial protocols and data collection, training in good clinical practice (GCP), communication and liaison with patients and families and support for individual clinical trials, where appropriate. All clinical trials sponsored by the foundation are reviewed and approved by an Ethical Committee for the evaluation of the risk benefit ratio and to ensure that all patient rights are guaranteed.

The foundation has traditionally collaborated with the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), with Italian cooperative groups and with the best cancer centers in the United States including Weill Cornell Medicine, the NY Genome Center and others throughout the world, in order to improve our knowledge about cancer and to improve the quality of patient care.

Promote Education

Educational programs are developed that will directly help cancer patients and their families, physicians, and nurses who are caring for cancer patients. This will be accomplished by:

  • Organization, co-sponsoring and participation in national and international scientific symposia and conferences.
  • Providing educational material and information resources for patients and their families concerning cancer treatment and its prevention.
  • Organization of theoretical and practical courses on clinical research, protocol development and ethics for oncologists, physicians in training and nurses involved in oncology clinical trials.
  • Scholarships for young scientists and medical oncologists in Italy.
  • Scholarships for Italian physicians to study abroad primarily in Europe and in the USA.

These core strategic initiatives can best be accomplished through multidisciplinary and often multinational efforts of physicians and scientists in Europe and the United States.