Where Ideas grow

Portuguese Society of Pulmonology acknowledges i3S project

Maria Joana Catarata, PhD student at i3S and pulmonology internist at the Hospital and University Center of Coimbra (CHUC), has recently been awarded a prize for best oral communication and the 2nd Thomé Villar SPP / Boehringer Ingelheim 2019 Prize at the 35th Annual Congress of the Portuguese Society of Pulmonology, amounting to 6000€.

The work developed by Joana Catarata, entitled The role of genetic polymorphism of the renin-angiotensin system and angiogenic factors in lung cancer progression allowed the identification of some genetic biomarkers with prognostic value in non-small cell lung cancer, and whose genetic variants have a functional impact on the expression of renin-angiotensin proteins and angiogenic factors. The developed strategy, explains the researcher, "may have implications for monitoring tumor progression and allow the identification of patients with a genetic profile who may benefit from targeted therapeutic modalities".

These studies have been supervised by researcher Rui Medeiros, from IPO-Porto and co-supervised by Carlos Robalo Cordeiro, a pulmonologist at CHUC, and by Ricardo Ribeiro, i3S researcher and a clinical pathologist at CHUC. Maria José Oliveira and researchers Thomas Muley and Michael Meister from the translational lung research department at Thoraxklinik, University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, also collaborated in this work.

More recently Joana Catarata has been dedicated to the pharmacogenetic study of chemotherapy with platinum doublets in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and has identified a genetic biomarker with predictive value in response to therapy and with implications for toxicity associated with chemotherapy.

The first results of Joana Catarata's studies had already been recognized in 2018 by the Portuguese Society of Pulmonology with the 1st Prize Robalo Cordeiro SPP / Novartis 2018, worth 10.000€.