Backing breast cancer research of excellence: the Conquer Cancer Foundation awards VHIO´s Cristina Cruz

  • Celebrated last week during the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO),  Cristina Cruz receives a 50.000 USD Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award
  • This essential funding  will fuel Cruz´s research into establishing whether the presence of messenger RNA variants of the BRCA1 gene causes resistance to targeted therapy currently under study for tumors associated with BRCA1 mutations 

Presented during this year´s Grants and Awards Ceremony at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, May 29 – June 02, Chicago, USA, Cristina Cruz received one of the Conquer Cancer Foundation´s (CCF) annual Young Investigator Awards to support her research aimed at the Identification of BRCA mRNA isoforms that generate proteins with functional capacity, as a potential novel mechanism of resistance against PARP inhibitors in germline BRCA mutant breast cancer (BC). Among the 2015 recipients – each receiving a one-year grant of 50.000 USD, Cristina was the only Young Investigator Award grantee from within Spain.

First awarded in 1984, the Foundation´s Young Investigator Awards provide funding to up-and- coming physician-scientists to facilitate the transition from fellowship to faculty appointment, encourage continued interest in clinical cancer research, and assist them in their careers as both physicians and researchers.

Under the mentorship of Judith Balmaña, Principal Investigator of VHIO´s High Risk & Cancer Prevention Group, Cristina´s research will explore whether the presence of certain messenger RNA variants of the BRCA1 gene causes resistance to targeted therapy currently under study for tumors associated with BRCA1 mutations – more specifically, the family of novel agents known as PARP inhibitors.

“To begin with, we will conduct research on fragments taken from human tumors that have been transplanted in mice in order to track and assess response to PARP inhibitors. If results evidence messenger RNA variants of BRCA1 to be a potential biomarker for predicting response to therapy, we will then confirm results directly in patients´ tumors”
, explains Cristina Cruz, Medical Oncologist and clinical researcher at the Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO). This current research line is the result of a longstanding collaboration with VHIO´s Oncogenetics and Experimental Therapeutics Groups led by Orland Diez and Violeta Serra respectively.

Funding breakthrough cancer research and sharing cutting-edge knowledge with patients and physicians worldwide, the Conquer Cancer Foundation was created by the world´s foremost cancer doctors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology to seek dramatic advances in prevention, treatment and cures of all types of cancer.

To discover more about the Foundation, its other awards and full listing of recipients 2015, please visit:

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