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P.CCC changes its name to honor researcher Raquel Seruca

In recognition of the commitment and dedication that researcher Raquel Seruca had in the development of the Porto Comprehensive Cancer Center (P.CCC), which brings together the Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Porto (IPO Porto) and the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health of the University of Porto (i3S), the directors of the two institutions decided to change the name of the consortium to the Porto Comprehensive Cancer Center Raquel Seruca.
This pioneering project in Portugal, which is now named after the researcher Raquel Seruca, aims to shorten and improve the cycle of scientific discovery in neoplastic and preneoplastic diseases, by strengthening translational research. “Thanks to Raquel, who was the soul and body of the initiative, we will witness the success of the P.CCC centered on people with organization and competence”, underlines Sobrinho Simões, director of Ipatimup.
The researcher, who coordinated the preparation of the TeamUp4Cancer project application for Norte2020 funds, having won funding of over 15 million euros to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients, recently died of an oncological disease. The work developed by Raquel Seruca “made possible the acquisition and implementation of new equipment and infrastructure, as well as the hiring of specialized human resources that will allow us to carry out cutting-edge cancer research with the aim of better understanding the molecular mechanisms of each tumor and transferring this knowledge for new tools for screening, early diagnosis and cancer treatment. This process will allow the development of an innovative strategy for monitoring and personalized treatment of patients”, said Claudio Sunkel, director of i3S.
“Raquel placed great hope in the P.CCC as an initiative to change the way of doing science. It acted as the catalyst for the will of the two institutions to join forces to get closer to what cancer patients really need”, explained Rui Henrique, Chairman of the Board of Directors of IPO Porto, adding that “by adding to the name of the P.CCC the name of Raquel, we are not only paying tribute to an exceptional woman and scientist, but also assuming a collective, personal and institutional commitment that we will work to make her dream and vision come true”.
When the funding for the P.CCC was announced, Raquel Seruca stressed that “for the first time in Portugal we will be able to fulfill the entire cycle that goes from the identification of altered mechanisms in tumor cells to clinical trials, based on in-depth knowledge of the molecular and cellular processes underlying the disease. The P.CCC is an infrastructure that prioritizes the needs of patients”.
The resources will be strategically allocated to platforms specialized in IPO Porto and i3S. For this purpose, equipment has already been acquired by i3S that will allow the isolation and characterization of the molecular profile of individual tumor cells and the identification of biomarkers for the surveillance of patients and families at risk. Specifically, the new equipment allows a detailed analysis of tissue and liquid biopsies from patients, and the functional evaluation of molecules in experimental models in vitro and in vivo. A large part of the investment was directed towards the implementation of new imaging technologies, creating a unique opportunity to advance in pre-clinical studies.