Researchers Sérgio Almeida and Marc Veldhoen are the 2018 winners of the iMM-Laço Fund, with funding of 25,000 euros each for one year for research projects on the causes of breast cancer.
“The projects now funded for a period of one year and worth 25 thousand euros each, aim to find the causes of breast cancer and consequently reduce their incidence, and may provide new possibilities for treatment,” says the Fund iMM-Tie in a statement.
Genome editing and immunotherapy are in the work areas of the winning projects.
Researcher Sérgio Almeida argued that funding from the iMM-Laço Fund will fully support research aimed at providing “proof of concept of an approach with completely new therapeutic potential.”
“In this project, we intend to develop a new approach using state-of-the-art genome-editing tools to explore DNA damage as a tool to modulate the levels of expression of tumour suppressor genes in cancer cells,” said the researcher. communicated.
Marc Veldhoen, another of the winners of the funding, explained that immunotherapy in recent years has promoted the survival of patients without recurrence.
“Therapies that target patients’ own white blood cells, transferring them to destroy tumour tissues, have achieved promising results. However, there are doubts whether these therapies will be effective in treating solid tumours, such as breast cancer.”
The researcher argued that among white blood cells, a subtype, called tissue-resident T cells, has characteristics that allow it to penetrate deeply into tissues.
“These cells have anti-tumour activity and their presence in the tumours correlates positively with patient survival. The conditions in which these cells are produced are still unknown, but our laboratory has new results that allow us to perceive the mechanisms that originate T cells residing in tissues. In this way, we intend to apply this knowledge to improve anti-tumour therapies, “he stressed.
The “iMM-Laço Fund: A Path of Healing” was created by the Institute of Molecular Medicine João Lobo Antunes (iMM) in partnership with Laço-Associação de Voluntariado, to support research projects in the area of breast cancer, seeking to bring hope to thousands of women who are diagnosed annually with this disease.
“The funds from the fund come from 100% fundraising campaigns and donations to the iMM-Laço Fund, including the contribution of the population and the support of partner entities. numerous initiatives that take place throughout the year to raise funds for this cause, “said Lynne Archbild, a consultant with the iMM-Laço Fund.