Where Ideas grow

Glioblastoma research wins award

A group of researchers from FEUP and i3S were recently awarded the Maratona da Saúde Prize for Cancer Research with a project on the use of nanotechnology in the treatment of brain cancer, more specifically glioblastoma multiforme. The goal is to overcome the limitations of existing therapies for this type of brain cancer.

Led by researcher Maria do Carmo Pereira, professor and researcher at the Laboratory of Process, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy Engineering (LEPABE) of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), the team developed nanoparticles that are able to more efficiently transport temozolomide to the brain. In addition, these nanoparticles also carry a molecule capable of decreasing the resistance of cells to therapy.

The first in vitro studies, carried out at the i3S, “demonstrated that these nanoparticles decrease the resistance to the therapeutic action of temozolomide in cell models”, explains researcher Jorge Lima. The Maratona da Saúde prize “will allow us to test this therapeutic approach in animal models (something that will also be done at i3S) to better evaluate the effectiveness and safety of these particles”, says researcher Maria João Ramalho (LEPABE and i3S), who will conduct this work at i3S.

Organized in partnership with the Foundation for Science and Technology, Maratona da Saúde aims to foster knowledge and the discovery of innovative therapeutic solutions. This year’s edition raised (through donations collected by an RTP television show) 40 thousand euros to invest in cancer research projects. 109 applications were analyzed, including the work of Maria do Carmo Pereira and Jorge Lima (in the senior category) and Adriana Sanchéz Danés (in the junior category) from the Champalimaud Foundation, with a project to identify tumor cells in pediatric cancer that are resistant to therapy.