Andrea Bonetto, PhD

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Specialty: General Surgery


Dr. Bonetto is an Assistant Research Professor of Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also an Associate Member of the IU Simon Cancer Center (Tumor Microenvironment and Metastases Research Program) and a Member of the Independent Investigator Incubator (I3) at Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

Dr. Bonetto obtained his PhD in Experimental Pathology at the University of Torino, Italy.

Since the beginning, his main research interest has focused on the identification of the molecular factors that are responsible for muscle wasting, a condition frequently observed in cancer cachexia. In particular, his research initially involved characterizing the IGF-1 and myostatin signaling pathways by taking advantage of both experimental and clinical studies. In addition, understanding the role of the IL-6/JAK/STAT3 pathway in cachexia has been the subject of his postdoctoral training at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as well as Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. Finally, while at University of Genova, Italy, Dr. Bonetto also spent some time trying to identify novel therapeutic strategies to improve the muscle phenotype in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies


Dr. Bonetto is currently studying the effects of chemotherapy on muscle homeostasis and function by taking advantage of both in vitro and in vivo experimental models. These studies will interrogate the molecular mechanisms associated with the occurrence of chemotherapy-induced cachexia and will investigate whether strategies aimed at improving muscle mass may contribute to reduce chemotherapy side effects, thus enhancing their efficacy and tolerability. The findings from this research will become the basis to create therapies to target cachexia and reduce the side effects of antineoplastic therapies with the long-term goal of prolonging quality of life and survival in cancer patients. Moreover, Dr. Bonetto is also interested in developing novel experimental models of cancer cachexia (colorectal, ovarian and pancreatic cancer) and investigating novel mediators of muscle wasting in experimental conditions, as well as in the clinical settings. 


  1. Merli M, Giusto M, Molfino A, Bonetto A, Rossi M, Ginanni Corradini S, Baccino FM, Rossi Fanelli F, Costelli P, Muscaritoli M. MuRF-1 and p-GSK3β expression in muscle atrophy of liver cirrhosis. Liver Int, 33(5):714-21, 2013; PMID: 23432902
  2. Bonetto A, Penna F, Aversa Z, Mercantini P, Baccino FM, Costelli P, Ziparo V, Lucia S, Rossi Fanelli F, Muscaritoli M. Early changes of muscle IGF-1 and myostatin gene expression in gastric cancer patients. Muscle Nerve, 48(3):387-92,  2013; PMID: 23861230
  3. Bonetto A*, Aydogdu T, Jin X, Zhang Z, Zhan R, Puzis L, Koniaris LG, Zimmers TA. JAK/STAT3 pathway inhibition blocks skeletal muscle wasting downstream of IL-6 and in experimental cancer cachexia. Am J Phys Endo Metab, 303(3): E410-21, 2012; PMID: 22669242
  4. Pedroso FE, Spaulding PB, Cheung MC, Yang R, Gutierrez JC, Bonetto A, Zhan R, Chan HL, Namias N, Koniaris LG, Zimmers TA. Inflammation, organomegaly and muscle wasting despite hyperphagia in a mouse model of burn cachexia. J Cachexia Sarcopenia and Muscle, 3(3): 199-211, 2012; PMID: 22476919
  5. Aversa Z, Bonetto A, Penna F, Costelli P, Di Rienzo G, Lacitignola A, Baccino FM, Ziparo V, Mercantini P, Rossi Fanelli F, Muscaritoli M. Changes in Myostatin Signaling in Non-Weight-Losing Cancer Patients. Ann Surg Oncol, 19(4): 1350-6, 2012; PMID: 21519918
  6. Bonetto A*, Aydogdu T*, Kunzevitzky N, Guttridge DC, Khuri S, Koniaris LG, Zimmers TA. STAT3 activation in skeletal muscle links muscle wasting and the acute phase response in cancer cachexia. PLoS One, 6(7):e22538, 2011; PMID: 21799891
  7. Gazzerro E, Bonetto A, Minetti C. Caveolinopathies translational implications of caveolin-3 in skeletal and cardiac muscle disorders. Handb Clin Neurol, 101:135-42, 2011; PMID: 21496630
  8. Aversa Z*, Bonetto A*, Costelli P, Minero VG, Penna F, Baccino FM, Lucia S, Rossi Fanelli F, Muscaritoli M. β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) attenuates muscle and body weight loss in experimental cancer cachexia.  Int J Oncol, 38(3):713-20, 2011; PMID: 21184031
  9. Bonetto A, Penna F, Minero VG, Reffo P, Costamagna D, Bonelli G, Baccino FM, Costelli P. Glutamine prevents myostatin hyperexpression and protein hypercatabolism induced in C2C12 myotubes by tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Amino Acids, 40(2):585-94, 2010; PMID: 20623149
  10. Gazzerro E, Assereto S, Bonetto A, Sotgia F, Scarfì S, Pistorio A, Bonuccelli G, Cilli M, Bruno C, Zara F, Lisanti MP, Minetti C. Therapeutic potential of proteasome inhibition in Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophies.  Am J Pathol, 176(4):1863-77, 2010; PMID: 20304949
  11. Penna F*, Bonetto A*, Muscaritoli M, Costamagna D, Minero VG, Bonelli G, Fanelli FR, Baccino FM, Costelli P. Muscle atrophy in experimental cancer cachexia: Is the IGF-1 signaling pathway involved? Int J Cancer, 127(7):1706-17, 2010; PMID: 20039316
  12. Bonetto A*, Penna F*, Muscaritoli M, Minero VG, Rossi Fanelli F, Baccino FM, Costelli P. Are antioxidants useful for treating skeletal muscle atrophy? Free Radic Biol Med, 47(7):906-916, 2009; PMID: 19591922
  13. Bonetto A*, Penna F*, Minero VG, Reffo P, Bonelli G, Baccino FM, Costelli P. Deacetylase inhibitors modulate the myostatin/follistatin axis without improving cachexia in tumor-bearing mice. Curr Cancer Drug Targets, 9(5):608-616, 2009; PMID: 19508174
  14. Costelli P, Muscaritoli M, Bonetto A, Penna F, Reffo P, Bossola M, Bonelli G, Doglietto GB, Baccino FM, Rossi Fanelli F. Muscle myostatin signaling is enhanced in experimental cancer cachexia. Eur J Clin Invest, 38(7): 531-8, 2008; PMID: 18578694
  15. Costelli P, Muscaritoli M, Bossola M, Penna F; Reffo P, Bonetto A, Busquets S, Bonelli G, Lopez-Soriano FJ, Doglietto GB, Argilés JM, Baccino FM, Rossi Fanelli F. IGF-1 is down-regulated in experimental cancer cachexia. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 291: 674-83, 2006; PMID: 16614058

Department of Surgery | 545 Barnhill Drive, Emerson Hall 203, Indianapolis, In 46202 | Phone: (317) 274-5771