The surgeon's role in molecular biology

Gaetano Rocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biomolecular era is rapidly becoming shaped around the supreme interest in targeted therapy for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Tissue analysis has become crucial in the definition of biomarkers and genomic signatures able to predict the response to treatment or even survival. Lung screening programs and minimally invasive thoracic surgery are jointly aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of specimens of non-small cell lung cancer caught at the earliest stages with the attendant, significant, effect on patient survival. In addition, biomolecular researchers are disclosing an ever-increasing cohort of patients with specific genetic mutations that make their cancer susceptible to individualized treatment. When needed for immunohistochemical characterization, investigators are ready to request "research biopsies" to consolidate tissue availability for clinical trials, translational research, and in biobanks. With unique and diverse tools in the surgical armamentarium, the thoracic surgeon plays a central role in this new multidisciplinary professional environment, actively participating in creating the foundations of the biomolecular era.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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