A team of researchers from the School of Medicine’s ICVS saw their project recognized by the Rui Osório de Castro Foundation (FROC) / Algebra Capital, with 10,000 euros for research funding in the field of pediatric cancer.
The project, selected by FROC, aims to study the “Role Of CD24, an immune checkpoint protein, in the Biology and Therapy of Medulloblastomas” and its therapeutic potential applied to pediatric cancer. The main contributions of this project will be the validation of CD24 and its therapeutic potential and the biological understanding of this molecule in the context of the tumor microenvironment.
“With this investigation we intend to demonstrate that CD24 is important in the development process of medulloblastomas and that its inhibition can be a successful therapeutic option to change the poor prognosis of these aggressive pediatric brain tumors”, explains Rui Manuel Reis, researcher and coordinator of the ICVS team responsible for this project, which includes Rui Pedro Marques and Olga Martinho, and which has a partnership with I3S.
In Portugal, cases of pediatric cancer are around 400 cases per year. Although the five-year survival rate is quite high compared to adults, it is still the leading cause of non-accidental death in this age group. The types of cancer with the highest incidence are leukemias, lymphomas and tumors of the Central Nervous System (CNS), with medulloblastoma being a type of CNS tumor. “Receiving the FROC scholarship with the support of Algebra Capital was a great honor and recognition of the quality and importance of our project for the knowledge of brain tumors in children”, says the researcher. “We are deeply grateful for believing in our project and for the opportunity to contribute to such important research”, highlights Rui Manuel Reis.