Onward in Oncology: Lessons Learned with Carlo Toniatti
Carlo Toniatti takes us on a journey from the clinic, to academia, to industry – where he spent over two decades developing anti-cancer drugs – and shares his lessons learned along the way
Carlo Toniatti | | Longer Read
You can make a tremendous impact in drug development
The complexity of the oncology field is staggering, making it rather challenging but also fascinating to work in. Ultimately throughout my career, my focus has always been on working to improve the lives of patients. However, after completing my medical degree, I had to make a decision: do I pursue clinical practice or scientific research?
I initially began my career as a physician, despite having some inspirational oncology professors working in research. However, my interest in research remained strong during my time in the clinic, and I came to understand that I couldn’t progress treatment options for oncology in the way I desired while continuing to work in clinical practice. I consequently realized, when working on transcription factors, that I wanted to develop drugs – and that has been the driving force throughout my career. As a physician, I was able to make a real impact on individual patients’ lives through treatments that had already been developed - although this was only for a minority of cancer patients and the treatments often came at a cost of severe toxicity. However, I realized that as a research scientist, I could help more patients by contributing to the development of novel, more efficacious and better tolerated drugs against cancer types for which there was no effective therapies.
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