The Mutua Madrileña Foundation has delivered its XIX Grants for Health Research, endowed with two million euros, to 21 clinical studies that will be carried out in hospitals throughout Spain and that will deal with transplants, rare childhood diseases, traumatology, cancer of lung and COVID-19.
The ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, the president of the Mutua Group and its foundation, Ignacio Garralda, and the president of the Scientific Committee of the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, Dr. Rafael Matesanz .
In total, taking into account all the hospitals that are going to participate in the collaborative projects, the Mutual Foundation is going to support the work of research teams from 19 hospitals in nine autonomous communities.
The research projects have been selected by the foundation's scientific committee and will be carried out in the areas of improvement in organ donation for transplantation (3 studies), traumatology and its sequelae (3 studies), rare diseases that manifest in childhood (6 studies), oncology focused on lung cancer (3 studies) and Covid-19 (3 studies). Additionally, three other studies led by specialists from the medical staff of Adeslas, a leading insurance company in health insurance and belonging to the Mutua Madrileña Group, will be financed.
Specifically, three of the selected projects will be carried out in collaboration between several Spanish hospitals from different autonomous communities, two in the field of rare diseases and one in lung cancer.
Among them, the one that will be coordinated from the Valdecilla University Hospital in Santander stands out to test the viability of a potential treatment, alternative to antibiotics, for resistant infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.
Teams from the Vall d'Hebron hospitals in Barcelona will also participate in the development of this therapy, based on bacteriophages (which are viruses that kill bacteria) encapsulated with nanomedicine techniques to release them at the exact time and place in the body; Reina Sofía in Córdoba; Hospital La Paz and Fundación Jiménez Díaz, both in Madrid.
In the field of improving organ donation for transplantation, several of the studies are going to focus on validating techniques to ensure that the organ, whatever it is, once extracted, can be preserved for a longer time before being transplanted.
Gaining this time, the organ can be better studied to demonstrate its viability and to be able to plan the surgery, without the need to do it as immediately and urgently as until now. One of the studies, led by the Hospital Clinic-Idibaps in Barcelona in collaboration with all the teams in Catalonia, will test the preservation of the liver once it has been removed from the donor with a technique called normothermic perfusion.
This procedure not only prolongs the time in which the organ is viable for transplantation, giving time to schedule the intervention and analyze the organ in depth, but it also allows the recovery of livers that are discarded with the naked eye (for example, because they are fatty livers), increasing the number of available organs.
With this method, it has already been possible to maintain a liver for three days, repair it and successfully transplant it to a patient at the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, who is still alive after a year and was described in the journal 'Nature Biotechnology'.
The Clinic-Idibaps study is the second in this line of the normothermic perfusion technique for which the Scientific Committee of the Mutual Foundation is committed, which in the previous call already financed one of similar characteristics at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital for all the the Community of Madrid, which is currently underway.
In another line of work within transplants, from the lung transplant group of the Puerta de Hierro University Hospital, a clinical trial will be carried out with the aim of prolonging the cold ischemia time of lung grafts by preserving them at a temperature of 10 degrees.
This new modality has already shown in an international multicenter clinical trial, in which this hospital also participates, that it is possible to safely increase the cold ischemia of the organs, making it possible to improve the logistics of lung transplants and convert an urgent procedure into a semi-scheduled activity, which may have positive implications both in the results and in patient safety.
In the area of oncology, which this year has focused on lung cancer, one of the studies to be financed, at Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid, will develop and validate intelligent digital algorithms for the identification of therapeutic targets in lung cancer patients.
In the area of rare diseases, one of the studies, coordinated by the University Hospital Complex of Santiago de Compostela-IDIS, will use 3D printing to improve the formulation of medicines and facilitate their intake by children affected by rare diseases metabolic.
In traumatology, and from the Alicante-Isabial General Hospital, biomarkers associated with persistent chronic pain after total knee arthroplasty will be sought and identified to help identify patients who will develop this pain after knee surgery and establish protocols of treatment that reduce the appearance of the problem.