The Association Pulseras Candela has contributed with a new donation of € 50,000 to continue promoting the research project on pediatric ependymoma at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR). The entities signed a collaboration agreement in 2019, with which the Candela Bracelets Association pledged to donate € 150,000 spread over three years. The project "New therapeutic approaches for the treatment of pediatric ependymoma", from which different lines of research derive, is directed by Dr. Miquel Segura, from the VHIR Translational Research Group on Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence.
Pediatric ependymoma (EPN) is a highly aggressive tumor that affects the central nervous system of children who suffer from it. The treatment of this type of tumor, which currently combines surgery and other treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, is usually limited by its difficult location, as well as the risk of damaging vital brain structures. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new therapeutic strategies for pediatric EPN.
Now, just a year after its first donation, the association is once again donating € 50,000 to the research project, with the aim that research on this type of tumor, pediatric ependymoma, can continue to advance. In fact, Dr. Miquel Segura remarks that "this project could not have continued without the help of the Association Pulseras Candela and its commitment".
The initial contribution has served the research group to give the first impetus to its research. "Thank you for allowing us to lay this first stone, which has been essential to launch the research and thank you for your confidence in the project", added Dr. Segura.
Dr. Soledad Gallego, from the Translational Research Group on Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence, also wanted to thank the members of Pulseras Candela for their support. The association has explained that they do not lose the desire to do everything possible to raise funds for this research, despite the obstacles they may encounter, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which stopped its activity for a while. “At the beginning of the year we were doing very well, compared to the previous year. The arrival of the coronavirus slowed us down, but we will continue fighting to support this line of research”, highlighted one of the members of the association.
The main objectives of the project
- Increase the number and characterization of cell and animal models. To increase the portfolio of possible treatments, you need to be able to test them first on these models, but their availability is very limited.
- Development of therapies and testing of epigenetic drugs with high selectivity for the brain, which are showing promising results in a large number of tumors in adults.
- Understand the role of the tumor microenvironment in EPN. That means to understand how some brain cells help the growth and progression of the epidemic. This information will allow to know in greater depth the processes that are strictly necessary for this adaptation and, therefore, which will be ideal candidates for the development of new drugs.
Pulseras Candela was born in 2013, when Candela, a girl with leukemia, began making bracelets during the long hours she spent in hospital. Her friends also started making bracelets, and began to sell them at a little stall in town. This initiative grew so much that today many groups and entities, such as schools, residences for the elderly, neighborhood associations, shops or sports clubs, collaborate in the manufacture and distribution of Candela bracelets.