Claudia Capparelli, PhD
Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson University
University of Calabria, Italy, PhD, Cell Biochemistry and Drug Activity in Oncology
University of Calabria, Italy, B.S. and M.S., Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology
Dr. Capparelli studies are focused on the role of
neuregulin1/ErbB3 pathway in melanoma. Specifically, she is studying neuregulin1 as cancer promoter in wild-type BRAF/NRAS (WT/WT). This WT/WT group represents approximately 30% of melanomas. Whereas the FDA has approved three different targeted therapeutic agents for BRAFV600E melanoma, there are no targeted inhibitors approved for the WT/WT group. Secondly, she is analyzing the role of neuregulin 1 as a tumor microenvironmental factor that promotes drug resistance in vemurafenib treated BRAFV600E melanoma. The RAF inhibitors are first-line treatment for the 50% of melanomas that harbor BRAFV600E mutations; however, the response is variable and progression is almost inevitable. Her studies are addressing unmet needs in the melanoma field: to develop new treatment strategies for wild-type BRAF/NRAS patients and to improve RAF inhibitor-based treatments for mutant BRAF patients.