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The American Melanoma Research Alliance scholarship a research of CIMA on immunotherapy

Dr. Fernando Pastor is one of the 34 scientists selected worldwide by this private institution of reference letter international

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Dr. Fernando Pastor. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
13/09/17 12:13 Maria Pilar Huarte

The American foundation Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) has granted a scholarship to Dr. Fernando Pastor, scientist of the research center Applied Medicine (CIMA) of the University of Navarra, to reinforce a study on immunotherapy against this tumor. Dr. Pastor is one of the 34 researchers selected worldwide by this private institution of reference letter international and the only Spanish in the category "Pilot Experiment".

Clinical advances in the treatment of advanced solid tumors, such as melanoma, have highlighted the role of cancer immunotherapy. "Scientific evidence suggests that an effective antitumor immune response requires some Degree of antigenicity and the removal of immunosuppression barriers characteristic of the tumor. Tumors that are too similar to normal tissue from an antigenic point of view are hardly recognized by the immune system as a potential threat, thus escaping immune surveillance. In addition, tumors develop active mechanisms of immunosuppression. Therefore, combined strategies aimed at resolving these two limitations have great therapeutic potential," explains Dr. Fernando Pastor, researcher of the Molecular Therapies Program at CIMA.

The work of research selected by the MRA (which has an endowment of $100,000) proposes the combination of two pioneering therapeutic strategies based on molecules called aptamers. "These are short nucleic acid sequences capable of stably binding to other target molecules. The results of the programs of study performed at laboratory show that this technique can be used to manipulate the immune response by facilitating tumor recognition. In the long term deadline this work may generate new, more effective and safer therapies than those currently available," concludes researcher of CIMA.