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Eight CNIO projects receive a total of 2.5 million euros from the AECC


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Researches awarded with grants from the AECC Madrid branch. Credit: AECC.

The funded projects are investigating different aspects of brain metastasis, the most aggressive form of breast cancer, melanoma, DNA damage leading to cancer, and pancreatic cancer

The first bank of live tissue samples of brain metastases, RENACER, coordinated by CNIO and contributed by hospitals throughout Spain, receives 1.2 million euros

One of the main criteria set by the Spanish Cancer Association (AECC) to select the projects has been that the results can be transferred as soon as possible to clinical practice

Eight of the research grants awarded by the Madrid branch of the Spanish Cancer Association (AECC) have gone to CNIO researchers, amounting to more than 2.5 million euros.

These projects are seeking to advance the personalisation of immunotherapies for triple-negative breast cancer and epithelial tumours, to better understand brain metastases and reduce their neurological impact on patients, and explore the relationship between genetic and cellular mechanisms and cancer. Also to look for possible new treatments for melanoma, and to decipher the relationship between certain allergies and pancreatic cancer.

All proposals were evaluated by external experts, and the subsequent decision to award funding was made by the Board of the AECC Scientific Foundation, which has renowned specialists in cancer, both in the research and medical fields.

The CNIO researchers selected are:

Manuel Valiente (Brain Metastasis Group). Allocated to the RENACER project, coordinated by Valiente, a national network of hospitals and research centres united against brain metastasis.

Luis Álvarez-Vallina (H12O-CNIO Clinical Research in Cancer Immunotherapy Unit). Developing customised immunotherapies to treat tumours in the epithelium – the layers of cells that line both the outside of the body, as well as hollow organs and ducts and glands.

Miguel A. Quintela (Breast Cancer Clinical Research Unit). Looking for indicators to predict which triple-negative breast cancer patients may benefit from immunotherapy, to help select the most effective treatment.

María Ibarra (Macromolecular Complexes in the Response to DNA Damage Group). Studying the machinery that regulates access to genetic information, and its relevance in cancer.

Mariam al-Masmudi (Brain Metastasis Group). Clarifying how brain metastases interact with neural circuits to understand the origin of neurocognitive disorders in patients.

Ivo Hernández (Genomic Instability Group). Studying the role of cell recycling mechanisms in the development and prevention of cancer.

Teresa Martí (Melanoma Group). Searching for a new Achilles heel for the treatment of melanoma and metastasis.

Jiangchuan He (Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group). Investigating the protective effect that asthma allergy appears to have on the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Last year, the AECC awarded 233 research grants for a total of €29.4 million. 60 of these grants were allocated within the Region of Madrid. The main criterion for choosing projects, the AECC indicates, is the likelihood that they will contribute to prolonging the average survival of cancer patients by 70% by 2030. The Association was particularly keen, therefore, that the results of the research should be transferred as soon as possible to clinical practice.

Currently, five-year survival from diagnosis is 55.3% in men and 61.7% in women in Spain, according to the latest annual report by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM).

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