Top 10 scientific discoveries of 2015 according to Prof. Mantovani

Science equipment2015 brought important scientific discoveries in the field of medicine.

Here are the top 10 according to Alberto Mantovani, Scientific Director of Humanitas and Professor at Humanitas University.

  • Immunotherapy against cancer: the microenvironment surrounding the cancer cells is important because when its cells are “corrupted”, the immune defenses are turned off; reactivating the defenses with immunotherapy helps the patient to react to the tumor.
  • Vaccine against Ebola.
  • Trabectedin, an active principle affecting not just the tumor cells, but also the “corrupted” cells mentioned at point 1.
  • Confirmed safety of the measles vaccine.
  • Antimalarial principle (2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine to Dr. Youyou Tu).
  • The study of the microbiome, which includes all the viruses, bacteria and fungi that live inside us and is able to educate our immune system.
  • Advances in the understanding of the autoimmune diseases.
  • A combination of two antivirals (sofosbuvir-velpatasvir) against hepatitis C that would reduce the liver cancer risk of 70%.
  • The power of monoclonal antibodies (antibodies binding target molecules): a strong reduction in cholesterol levels has been observed by blocking a liver receptor with a monoclonal antibody.
  • The memory of innate immunity: certain infections leave a sign in the innate immune system and make it more susceptible to subsequent infections.

Do you want to know more? Read the full interview on Corriere.

Source: “Extra”, special dossier of “Corriere della Sera”.


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.