Marisol Soengasone of the most recognized Spanish scientists for her research on melanoma, has revealed that he suffers from cancer. The president of the Spanish Cancer Research Association announced on his account of X (Twitter) who has a breast tumor.
“Cancer is the focus of my professional career and now it is also part of my private life. “I have a breast tumor, but I face it with energy, with confidence in science and with gratitude to the great team of professionals who are treating me,” she declared. The messages of support were immediate and hours later, Soengas thanked the gesture, stating that she is “deeply excited and has more energy to face the treatment.”
The news has fallen like a bucket of ice water for the director of the Melanoma Group at the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). Marisol Soengas, a biologist specialized in microbiology from the Autonomous University of Madrid, is one of the most prestigious scientists in the world in its fight against melanoma, the most common and lethal skin cancer.
Trained at the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center, under the orders of Margarita Salas, Marisol Soengas has achieved great milestones with his research group. One of the most important was the generation of bioluminescent mice — named MetAlert — that allow us to visualize how melanomas act at a distance before forming metastases.
Bioluminescent mice, one of Marisol Soengas’ milestones in melanoma research
The Spanish scientist and her team of researchers published a study in the journal Nature in mid-2017. They detailed the development of MetAlert models, a technique to visualize the earliest stage of melanoma. Marisol Soengas and her group made genetic modifications to mice to emit light when there is pathogenic activation of the lymphatic vessels, one of the first steps in the spread of cancer.
The bioluminescent mice showed how melanoma acts throughout the body before metastases occur. According to Marisol Soengas, today it is very difficult to detect in vivo individual tumor cells Prior to the discovery, the methodology required injecting markers into areas where metastasis formation existed. MetAlert models are also effective in studying response to anticancer drugs and relapse after surgery.
“What we have achieved is to observe how they activate the dissemination routes, that is, the roads along which the tumor circulates,” Soengas declared in an interview with The country in 2018. “When you see, after many years, that the work you have been doing in mice is validated in patient samples, it is very exciting.”
The development of MetAlert models represented a paradigm shift in the study of metastasis in melanoma. The work of Marisol Soengas and her team was recognized as the biomedical research of the year in the magazine Nature. However, this is not the only important work of the scientist in this field.
A history of progress in the fight against skin cancer
In 2016, Marisol Soengas and her team of CNIO researchers discovered a specific molecular biomarker for malignant melanoma. A study published in the journal Autophagy determined that patients who have a partial loss in the ATG5 protein are more likely to develop metastasis. Scientists found that melanoma cells limit levels of ATG5, a protein vital in autophagy, the process in which the cell destroys damaged or abnormal proteins, as well as viruses and bacteria.
Months later, the CNIO Melanoma Group published a study in the journal Nature in which he details the role of the CPEB4 protein in melanoma cells. The researchers found that these cells are more dependent on this protein, which helps differentiate melanomas from other types of cancer. Soengas and her team discovered that the inhibition of CPEB4 hinders cell proliferation, so it can be used in a treatment.
Marisol Soengas has multiple recognitionss for his research in the fight against melanoma. In 2017 she received the Estela Medrano Award from the Society for Melanoma Research, followed by the Medal of Honor from the Spanish Association of Scientists in 2018. A year later, the Spanish scientist received the Fritz Anders medalawarded by the European Society of Pigment Cell Research for her contribution to melanoma research and advances in treatment.
“I will continue to demand R&D&I that advances the knowledge of oncological diseases, and that the results of this research reach people with cancer sooner and equitably,” said Marisol Soengas after revealing that she has a cancer tumor. mother.