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26/02/2024

The Joan Petit Foundation donates €60,000 to childhood cancer research

Fundació Joan Petit i investigadors del VHIR

Joan Petit Foundation and VHIR researchers

26/02/2024

The money will allow research into paediatric nervous system tumours and childhood sarcomas to continue, with the aim of improving children's chances of survival and reducing the side effects of treatment.

Once again, the Friends of Joan Petit Children with Cancer Foundation is collaborating with the paediatric cancer research of the Cancer and Paediatric Haematological Diseases Group of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR). Specifically, it supports the lines of research on tumours of the nervous system and sarcomas, led by Dr. Miquel Segura and Dr. Josep Roma, who are both principal investigators in the group.

Childhood sarcomas are a large family of malignant tumours.

Sarcomas are a diverse group of malignant connective tissue tumours formed by the proliferation of mesodermal cells and can arise from a variety of tissues. Among sarcomas in the paediatric population, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), non-RMS soft tissue sarcomas, osteosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma are notable for their high malignancy and incidence. Despite this high level of malignancy, sarcomas have historically been understudied.

Dr Josep Roma, head of the Childhood Sarcoma Laboratory, emphasises that the survival rate for childhood sarcomas is well below average and that new lines of research are urgently needed to improve both early detection and treatment. Currently, his team's main lines of research are aimed at developing innovative treatments by applying the latest insights into the biology of these cancers. They are also working on early detection of relapse to facilitate patient monitoring through non-invasive liquid biopsy.

Tumours of the paediatric nervous system are the most common solid malignant neoplasms in childhood cancer.

The Neural Tumours Laboratory, led by Dr. Miquel Segura, focuses on tumours of the nervous system, both peripheral nervous system tumours such as neuroblastomas and paediatric central nervous system tumours such as ependymomas, medulloblastomas or high-grade gliomas. It is worth noting that paediatric CNS tumours are the most common solid malignant neoplasms in childhood cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death in children.

Currently, one of the main lines of research in the laboratory is focused on the development of a drug that modulates the activity of an epigenetic complex to reverse epigenetic alterations that are common in brain tumours. In addition, efforts are being made to improve disease-representative models so that positive results from the laboratory are more likely to be replicated in patients.

Friends of Joan Petit Children with Cancer Foundation

Founded in 2001 and converted into a foundation in 2004, the Friends of Joan Petit aim to support children with cancer and raise awareness of the disease. Since 2008, it has been working with the VHIR to raise funds for research projects.

The Joan Petit Foundation is committed to promoting research and knowledge and values the efforts of researchers at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute in various fields of paediatric oncology to improve the survival of children and adolescents with cancer.

To make this possible, the Foundation organises various activities to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

This year, thanks to all the collaborators, sponsors and unfailing friends of Joan Petit, a total of €60,000 has been raised, all of which will be used for childhood cancer research.

Since 2008 Friends of Joan Petit has been working with the VHIR.

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