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The Ministry of Science and Innovation promotes research in brain and childhood cancer

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The Ministry of Science and Innovation has promoted two lines of research on brain tumors and paediatric cancer. The objective is to advance in the knowledge of these diseases to facilitate diagnostic and therapeutic improvements for patients.

Minister Diana Morant, accompanied by the Director of ISCIII, Cristóbal Belda, met with researcher Pilar Sánchez, leader of the ISCIII Neuro-oncology Unit, and Antonio Pérez, researcher at the paediatric Hemato-oncology Service of the La Paz University Hospital Research Institute .

Sánchez has been studying gliomas for years, malignant brain tumors with no possibility of cure at present, which typically appear in people over 50 years of age, although they are also diagnosed in children. Today, they are the leading cause of cancer death in patients under the age of 19.

To advance in the treatment of this type of tumor in children, the ISCIII is going to initiate a new research project, in collaboration with the Niño Jesús Hospital, which will combine the genetic information of individual tumors to generate in vitro models developed with the tumor cells. In a complementary way, animal models will also be generated, with Drosophila flies, to mimic the development of tumors and bring closer the possibility of treating them more effectively.

Pérez leads the SEHOP-Pencil project whose objective is to promote precision medicine in the approach to childhood cancer to improve survival and reduce morbidity levels.

The Ministry of Science and Innovation, through the 2021 ISCIII Personalised Medicine call, has allocated 1.8 million euro to this project to promote new advances in the diagnosis and treatment of paediatric cancer and ensure that its results reach all places in Spain.

The 2021 ISCIII Personalised Medicine call is included in the PERTE for Vanguard Health , a public-private collaboration instrument focused on the transformation of the health sector through science and innovation.

This PERTE, which has funds from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan , plans to mobilise nearly 1,5 billion euro between 2021 and 2023 for the development of advanced therapy and precision medicine projects.

New ISCIII-CDTI joint call for health research

During the visit, Morant recalled that the Ministry of Science and Innovation is going to publish in the coming weeks a joint call between the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) and the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) to finance, with 25 million euro, collaborative R&D&I projects in health between public research organisations, hospitals and companies.

The projects to be financed seek to generate and consolidate innovative procedures to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and patient care in a personalised way. Specifically, these projects will be aimed at developing early diagnosis tools in the field of precision medicine to improve the detection and treatment of diseases with high morbidity.

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