Marta Redondo Muñoz will defend her doctoral thesis next Wednesday, 20 December

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Marta Redondo Muñoz will defend her doctoral thesis next Wednesday, 20 December

Marta Redondo Muñoz, pre-doctoral researcher at the Navarrabiomed-IdiSNA  Cancer Signalling Unit will read her doctoral thesis from the Universidad Pública de Navarra on Wednesday 20 December, at 11:00 am, in the Navarrabiomed assembly hall.

The doctoral thesis, entitled “Fatty acid metabolism as a therapeutic target in melanoma-like skin cancer", was presented at Navarrabiomed under the auspices of the doctors Imanol Arozarena Martinicorena, Principal Investigator of the Cancer Signalling Unit at Navarrabiomed and Florencio Marzo Pérez, Professor at the Universidad Pública de Navarra.

Their work is based on the observation that melanoma patients in most cases respond well to therapies directed against one of the key genes in tumour progression: the BRAF gene. However, they soon develop resistance to these therapies and the tumours start to grow again. In addition, recent clinical studies suggest that these patients do not respond so well to immunotherapy.

During her doctoral thesis, Marta Redondo Muñoz investigated the role fatty acid metabolism has in the development of resistance to BRAF inhibitors and demonstrated how ranolazine, a drug for heart conditions, acts to slow tumour progression. Even more importantly, the research emphasises that the application of this drug makes melanoma cells more visible to the immune system by improving the response to immunotherapies and increasing the ability of lymphocytes to control tumour growth.

Funding and dissemination of results

The research was funded by the Government of Navarra, through grants for the recruitment of doctoral students by companies, research centres and technology centres "Industrial Doctorates 2020" and by the Spanish Multidisciplinary Melanoma Group (GEM) through the "Grants for Doctoral Theses” programme.

The results of the doctoral thesis were published in the magazineNature Metabolism “Metabolic rewiring induced by ranolazine improves melanoma responses to targeted therapy and immunotherapy”. See related news. 

Marta Redondo Muñoz, pre-doctoral researcher at the Navarrabiomed Cancer Signalling Unit
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