VHIO´s Enriqueta Felip presented with Merck Serono prize to progress research into drug resistance in lung cancer

  • The Fundación Merck Salud (Merck Health Foundation) allocates €200.000 to support 8 research projects
  • Selected from a shortlist of almost 200 proposals the winning 8 span a broad range of specialities from Lung, Head and Neck, Colorectal cancers, Allergology, Paediatric Endocrinology, Rare Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, to Fertility

Enriqueta Felip, Principal Investigator of VHIO´s Thoracic Tumors & Head and Neck Cancer Group was last week presented with a Merck Serono Research Award by the Fundación Merck Salud for clinical research of excellence against lung cancer. The project also involves the participation of Alejandro Piris, Head of VHIO´s Scientific Coordination Area, Josep Maria Miquel, Research Project Manager at VHIO, as well as the expertise of Ana Vivancos, Principal Investigator of VHIO´s Cancer Genomics Group.

The Merck Serono Research Awards, now in their 25th annual edition, were created to fuel unparalleled, pioneering research to be proposed and carried out by investigators in Spain. The results of this year´s highly competitive Call – Comprometidos con los investigadores por la Salud (Committed to working with researchers for Health), were celebrated during a special award ceremony held at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, attended by Carmen Vela, Spanish Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, as well as numerous scientists and key figures in biomedicine from across Spain.

VHIO´s awarded project entitled Patient-derived orthotopic xenografts (PDOX) to study mechanisms of acquired resistance in lung cancer driven by oncogenic activation and headed by Enriqueta Felip will focus on unmasking the many yet to be described molecular mechanisms that are responsible for tumoral resistance to anti-cancer therapies against lung cancer — the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

“Using patient-derived orthotopic xenograft mouse models we are trying to test the efficacy of novel strategies against lung cancer”, says Enriqueta Felip. She continues, “Thanks to the support received from the Fundación Merck Salud we will lead essential research to establish just how well these new approaches designed to block acquired resistance to the latest generation of targeted therapies perform”.

Given that the major obstacle in ultimately combating cancer is the acquired resistance to anti-cancer therapies, this research will ultimately spur progress in reversing drug resistance and counteracting tumor cell spread factors through the development of more effective and precise treatment approaches against lung cancer.


For more information and further details surrounding all the Fundación Merck Salud-awarded projects please see the attached press release from Merck below under ´Related´.

To discover more about the research carried out by VHIO´s Thoracic Tumors & Head and Neck Cancer Group, contact: Amanda Wren, Director of Communications, Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Tel: +34 695 207 886, Email: awren@vhio.net.

The Fundación Merck Salud Press Release (in Spanish)

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