The AECC Lleida awards a grant to the researcher Inés de la Rosa Zurera for research into acral melanoma, a tumour with a poor prognosis due to the poor response to treatment

The aid will make it possible to study the genetic profile and identify biomarkers for this melanoma

The AECC-Catalonia Against Cancer of Lleida, through the AECC scientific foundation, has awarded a grant to the pre-doctoral researcher, Inés de la Rosa Zurera, from the Pathology Oncology research group at IRBLleida. The grant is for 3 years, extendable for a further year, and has a total budget of 84,000 euros. The translational project is entitled Genetic study and analysis of the secretion of acral melanoma Identification of biomarkers of clinical application and aims to study acral melanoma genetically, analyse the tumour in mouse models and study new biomarkers. The director of this research is Rosa Maria Martí, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Lleida and Head of the Dermatology Service at the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital.

Melanoma is one of the ten most common types of cancer with an increasingly high incidence. Melanoma has a very high capacity to metastasise from very small tumours, so that many cases escape early diagnosis. In particular, acral melanoma is one of the cutaneous melanomas and appears on the palms of the hand, the soles of the foot and in the subungual area (under the nails). It is a tumour associated with an uncertain prognosis, due to its poor response to conventional treatments and its late diagnosis. The prevalence of acral melanoma is 5% of all diagnosed melanomas and its cause is not very defined.

The study of the genetic profile, its analysis in mouse models and the identification of biomarkers will allow advances in research into this type of cancer. In addition, it is also planned to use liquid biopsy (the plasma of patients) as a new tool for predicting the response to future treatments for human acral melanoma.

In 2005, the first aid was granted to obtain results that will improve the quality of life of individuals. Specifically, the researcher David Llobet-Navás received an AECC pre-doctoral grant to study his thesis at IRBLLEIDA under the direction of Dr. Xavier Matias-Guiu.

After 2011, the Oncological Pathology group at IRBLLEIDA, directed by Xavier Matias-Guiu, will participate in one of the AECC Scientific Foundation's stable coordinated cancer research groups. The project, entitled Molecular alterations related to tumour progression in endometrial cancer, had an overall budget of 1,200,000 euros. In the first three years, results were obtained on biomarkers to predict prognosis, as well as to understand the mechanisms of resistance to radiotherapy, or the validation in cell lines of drugs against specific alterations in endometrial cancer.

And finally, in 2017, the association will grant the first aid of the new AECC strategic plan 2016-2020 which allowed the postdoctoral researcher and associate professor at the University of Lleida, Anna Macià, to identify new effective therapeutic targets to prevent the tumoural progression of melanoma.

The President of the AECC Lleida, Eduardo Serrrano, the surgeon and member of the provincial board of the AECC Lleida, Marisa Pon, with the researchers Rosa M. Martí, Inés de la Rosa and Anna Macià