Catalan scientist receives €160,000 grant for rare brain cancer research

AECC funding allows Anna Visa to continue studying effects of protein inhibition

IRBLleida cancer researcher Anna Visa
IRBLleida cancer researcher Anna Visa / Oriol Bosch
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 2, 2023 07:43 PM

February 2, 2023 07:46 PM

Anna Visa, a cancer researcher at the IRBLleida biomedical research institute in western Catalonia, has been awarded a €160,000 grant from the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) to continue her research into glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer that affects 1 to 3 in 100,000 people.

"It is considered a rare form of cancer," Visa told the Catalan News Agency. "But life expectancy after diagnosis is a year and a half and it is the most common kind of brain tumor."

Because of its proximity to "sensitive areas" of the brain, surgery is complicated and complete removal is not possible.

The grant will provide Visa with enough funding for the next four years and will allow her to spend time learning from research teams abroad. She hopes to learn new lab techniques that she will later be able to implement in Lleida.

"What we want to do is inhibit a calcium channel protein," she explained, "because we have observed that when we do this, glioblastoma cells die."

The IRBLleida scientist will use the funding to test the effects of inhibition on different types of glioblastoma tumors as well as to explore whether it could potentially be used to trick patients' immune systems into attacking the cancer cells.