ISLB 2023


Arsela Prelaj

Arsela Prelaj: Italy
Categories: Invited Speakers
She currently works as a Medical Oncologist with both a strong interest and commitment to translational research at the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori of Milan (since September 2018), in the Thoracic Oncology Unit.
In the last five years she has focused her research on Thoracic Malignancies, especially in NSCLC patients treated with immunotherapy and target therapy, being sub and principal investigator of many clinical studies/trials and closely involved in the coordination of various national and international grant applications on this topic.
Indeed, her research focus is also centered on Bioengineering and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as embodied by her enrolment as a PhD student at the Politecnico di Milano’s Department of Electronics, Informatics and Bioengineering in 2019, an activity she conducts in parallel with her clinical duties and research activities. In the last three years she has focused her research on collected real world and multiomics (circulating immune profiling, radiomics, digital pathology, genomics and RNA sequencing) data from advanced NSCLC patients treated with Immunotherapy with the aim to develop an AI tool able to design better individualized treatments and predict their efficacy. The source of the data is primarily a 3-years long translational study, APOLLO, which focused on the biobank samples’ collection from NSCLC patients.
To answer the major unmet need in NSCLC of the identification of efficient biomarkers for immunotherapy, she first co-led a Horizon 2020 grant application in 2020, which was presented anew in 2021 as a large-scale Horizon Europe application which successfully obtained funding – I3LUNG ( that regards NSCLC, immunotherapy and the implementation of innovative Artificial Intelligence methodologies for the construction of therapeutic decision-making support tools.
In the last years, to propose concrete solutions to unify and harmonize data and biological sample collection among centers she successfully applied for funding at the “Bando di Ricerca Istituzionale” (BRI – Institutional Research Call, promoted by the Institute’s Scientific Directorate to support innovative translational research projects) in 2021. She is the Principal Investigator and Coordinator of the “APOLLO 11” project, a large Italian network (15 centers, which will be expanded to over 40 institutes in 2022-2023) of advanced lung cancer units, focusing on Translational Research and Real-World data with the principal aim to develop of a national database and biobank.
She also recently participated as PI in a Horizon Project call on: High Value for care and research in Lung Cancer and recently submitted a Grant as CO-PI (PI: Dr. Sangaletti) on Bando di Ricerca Finalizzata 2022 on the development of a Bone Marrow-on Chip (a three-dimensional microfluidic device) for the early detection of Lung and Breast Cancer.
She is a very active member of the ESMO Committee ESMO Real world data and digital health in oncology Working Group (RDH WG) to which she was invited in 2020. Her action point focused on three different objectives in the next year: ESMO paper position on guideline regarding Real World Clinical Trials, education and networking, giving her expertise on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence analysis.
She is part of a research-collaborative group on ESMO-ESTRO collaboration on defining guideline for concomitant radiotherapy Innovative therapies (immunotherapy and target therapies across cancers).
Finally, the results of a recent ESMO collaboration will be published, where she will be the first co-author, on ESMO’s position on the use”