Doña Letizia presented a research grant to the bioengineering team at the University of Navarra and CEIT-IK4 made up of researchers María J. Blanco, Sergio Arana and Maite Mujika
As part of the event held by the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC in Spanish), her Majesty the Queen, as Honorary President of the Association, presided over the presentation of a research grant for cancer and the 2014 "V de Vida" ("V for Life") prize.
The research grant was presented to aid a study on the childhood cancer osteosarcoma, led by Dr. María J. Blanco at the University of Navarra, and in which doctors Sergio Arana and Maite Mujika from CEIT-IK4 collaborate. The study's award of 150,000 euros comes from the Bhavnani Grant for Childhood Cancer, which is financed by Ram Bhavnani, an Indian investor who has been based in the Canary Islands since the age of 21.
The grant demonstrates the high level of cancer research in Gipuzkoa. The research that is being conducted at the University of Navarra's Center for Bioengineering, in which CEIT-IK4 plays a fundamental role, has the ambitious goal of demonstrating the effectiveness of nanomedicine as well as the possible inhibition of metastasis.
The research by doctors Blanco, Arana and Mujika is on the nanoencapsulation of medicine as a way to increase drug absorption through the intestine and eliminate the need for intravenous delivery. This alternative delivery mode will reduce drug toxicity, which will in turn increase drug effectiveness.
Bone sarcomas are very aggressive tumours that have a high rate of metastasis, primarily to the lung. They are a significant cause of illness and death in children.
The Center for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Navarra, with facilities in Pamplona and Donostia-San Sebastián, is composed of multidisciplinary research teams from the worlds of medicine and engineering.
In addition to CEIT-IK4, other project participants are the Schools of Medicine, Biology and Pharmacy from the University of Navarra, la Clínica Universidad de Navarra, and CIMA.
The aim is to study and develop new solutions for improving health by combining the knowledge of the experts at the Clínica with the technological resources at CEIT, in collaboration with TECNUN, the School of Engineering.