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María Casanova-Acebes receives funding from CRIS Research Programme to do research into breast cancer

21.05.2021

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María Casanova-Acebes María Casanova-Acebes. /CNIO

Thanks to this support, the researcher will develop a project focused on tackling the metastases of triple-negative breast cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer is the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat breast cancer. Approximately 60% of patients develop metastases to the lung and bone

The grant amounts to 400,000 euros over five years, i.e., 80,000 euros per year

CNIO researcher Maria Casanova-Acebes, head of the Cancer Immunity Group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), has been selected in the second edition of the CRIS Research Programme. This programme aims to retain and attract research talent. Casanova-Acebes has been selected in the Post-Doc Talent category, which intends to help attract and consolidate outstanding young researchers in Spain. The total financial allocation will be 400,000 euros, spread over five years at 80,000 euros per year.

Thanks to this support, Casanova-Acebes will develop a project focused on tackling the metastasis of triple-negative breast cancer. To do this, she will use cutting-edge techniques to understand how certain cells in the immune system promote metastasis and look for vulnerabilities in these cells against which to develop therapies; this could open the door to effective treatments for this type of cancer.

Triple-negative breast cancer is the most aggressive breast cancer, and there is currently no treatment for it. Approximately 60% of patients develop metastases to the lung and bone, and the mechanisms by which cells metastasise to these organs are poorly understood. Casanova-Acebes will study this process, and the participation of cells of the innate immune system in it, to develop treatments to prevent metastasis to these organs.

Casanova-Acebes joined the CNIO at the end of 2020 to lead her research group, the Cancer Immunity Group, after a stint at Mount Sinai Hospital in the United States. The main objective of this young scientist, who specialises in the innate immune system, is to detect metastases before they occur and thus prevent cancer from becoming chronic.

In this second edition of the CRIS Research Programme, in addition to Casanova-Acebes, the following researchers were also selected: Alejo Rodríguez-Fraticelli, of IRB Barcelona; Bruno Paiva, of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra; Isabel Mendizábal, of CIC bioGUNE, Bilbao; María Esperanza Rodríguez, of the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra; and Joaquín Mateo, of the Vall d`Hebrón Institute of Oncology.

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