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Two researchers from the University, awarded 120,000 € grant by the association Española Contra el Cáncer

Graduates in Biochemistry + Master's Degree MIB and in Human Nutrition and Dietetics + Master's Degree E-MENU, respectively, this financial aid will allow them to carry out their thesis doctoral studies in myeloma and in per diem expenses and breast cancer.

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From left to right, Cristina Pérez (PhD Candidate CUN), Francisco Arasanz (President AECC Navarra), Andrea Romanos (PhD Candidate University of Navarra) and Teresa Barrio (Coordinator AECC Navarra).
PHOTO: Courtesy
27/03/18 20:13 Laura Juampérez

Cristina Pérez Ruiz (Biochemistry 16 and Master's Degree in research Biomedical, specialization program in Oncology 17) and Andrea Romanos Nanclares (Human Nutrition and Dietetics 16 and Master's Degree European in Nutrition, Food and Metabolism 17) have received scholarships from the association Spanish Against Cancer (AECC) consisting of 60,000 euros so that they can continue their programs of study of doctorate at the University of Navarra.

This financial aid -to be funded by AECC Navarra between 2018 and 2020- is granted after the evaluation by the National Agency of Evolution and Prospective of the projects presented; with the goal, from the AECC ,to support the research as a strategy in the fight against cancer.

In the case of Andrea Romanos Nanclares, her doctoral thesis began in September 2017 at the department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the academic center, under the direction of Dr. Estefanía Toledo and Dr. Alfredo Gea. The subject of her study focuses on analyzing the relationship between breast cancer and per diem expenses:"In Europe, this tumor is the most frequent among women. In addition, between 90 and 95% of cancers are attributed to environmental and lifestyle factors, such as alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets or obesity", Andrea explains.

"With this work", continues the AECC fellow, "we intend to assess the association between the consumption of sugary drinks and some types of fatty acids (saturated, trans, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated), as well as polyphenols of the per diem expenses (antioxidant compounds present in the Mediterranean patron saint ) with the development of breast cancer". All this analyzing the Cohort of the SUN study (Follow-up University of Navarra), led by the Full Professor of Public Health and Visiting Professor of Harvard, Miguel Ángel Martínez, and the analysis of the cases that are part of the PREDICARE study, led by Estefanía Toledo in which postmenopausal women under 70 years of age participate.

A reward for those who dare to think "outside the box".

For Andrea Romanos, the financial aid of AECC is, first of all, "a great reward staff for all the effort and perseverance during the years at the university, for the continuous desire to cultivate concerns and try to delve into what I do not know, leaving the established. I feel great satisfaction for the trust they have placed in me".

Cristina Pérez Ruiz, on the other hand, is doing the doctorate at the research center Applied Medicine (CIMA) of the University of Navarra under the direction of Dr. Bruno Paiva. Her project focuses on multiple myeloma: the second most frequent hematological malignancy and which, despite advances in its treatment in recent decades and the encouraging results of different immunotherapies, not all patients respond favorably. "For this reason, it is necessary to identify new biomarkers that allow the implementation of personalized immunotherapy strategies, taking into account that the mechanisms of immunotherapy are different from those of other drugs used in multiple myeloma," emphasizes the future doctor.

Regarding the achievement of the scholarship granted by AECC, Cristina recognizes that it was a great surprise: "I started the thesis in October and applied for different scholarships. Most of us received many negative responses, so the CIMA made the effort to grant me a scholarship -something I am very grateful for-. So when I was informed of this financial aid I thought that everything had a reward, and that you should always fight for what you believe in". "Now," concludes this Biochemistry , "it is the turn of refund the trust they have placed in us".