The "Associazione Marta Nurizzo" born on July 11, 1996, takes its name after Marta, died on May 11, 1995 at the age of 21, owing to a bronchial-alveolar carcinoma.
The Associazione is a no-profit organization, recognized by the Italian Ministry for University and Scientific Research, aiming at promoting the research on lung cancer. It collects funds from supporters, private people and companies to grant research projects and fellowships in this field; promotional and cultural events are also organized for fund raising.

  • The second fellowship (1998) of the same amount was assigned to dr. F. Crosti. Her research project "Genetic susceptibility and environmental carcinogens in lung cancer", started at the Nelson Institute of Epidemiological Medicine, New York Medical Center, New York University, USA. The Associazione’s Scientific Committee, after the first quarterly check, suggested stopping the project since the local situation appeared not to be worth for the fellow.

 

From the beginning of the new millenium, the Associazione has focused its activity on the research project "Genetic predisposition to lung cancer", developed together with the "Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori", Milano (Italian National Cancer Institute, Milan) and the "Istituto di Ricerca Farmacologica Mario Negri", Milano (“Mario Negri” Pharmacological Research Institute, Milan). The research is aimed at investigating the genetic elements affecting lung cancer risk: the main target is therefore to collect a relevant number of blood samples coming from patients under 60 who never smoked and, possibly, from their healthy relatives (brothers or sisters). Till now, more than 200 patients’ samples and more than 165 control samples were collected and analyzed. Among them, 115 couples of samples (patient and brother/sister, having less than 60 years) were extracted to more deeply study the metabolic polymorphisms.

At the end of 2007 a new call for a 18,000 € fellowship (and up to 5,000 € for stages and extra scientific activities) was made and the winner was dr. S. La Monica of the Parma University. Her research project was titled “Study of the resistance mechanisms to EGFR inhibitors in cellular lines of non small cell lung cancer”; at the end of 2008 the fellowship was renewed to allow the completion of the research at the Department of Experimental Medicine, Molecular Pathology and Immunology Section of the Parma University.

The 2010 "Marta Nurizzo" fellowship (20,000 €, plus an extra possible contribution of 4,000 € for stages and extra scientific activities) was assigned to dr. F. Colombo of IRCSS Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano. Her research project "Functional characterization of candidate genes associated with lung cancer prognosis" taking place at the Italian National Cancer Institute, Milano, was granted with a second fellowship (2011), to allow the completion of the current work, that was very favourably evaluated by the Scientific Committee.

The first call for the 2012 “Marta Nurizzo” fellowship – having the same amount of the previous one – led to no assignation of the fellowship, since none of the research projects submitted was considered of sufficient interest by the Scientific Committee. Therefore a second call was done and the research project of dr. S. Cattelani of the Modena-Reggio University “Inhibitors of EMT in lung cancer: biological and clinical importance” was chosen.