Mexican student Alejandro Jiménez Sánchez has just received an award for the best doctoral thesis of the year at the Cancer Research Institute of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The young man, a scholarship recipient from the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), conducted a doctoral study on the way that the immune system is able to recognize cancer cells as a threat and fight them.
The project represents a very valuable contribution to immunotherapy, since it proposes a new way to treat cancer by activating the immune system of patients with said affliction so that their own organism can stop the disease from spreading.
Through its information agency, CONACYT informed that the Mexican student had conducted a genomic analysis of five tumors from the same patient, who had been diagnosed with an advanced stage of ovarian cancer and underwent surgery for tumor removal.
However, after seven months of chemotherapy, the cancer returned, and thus began the research of Alejandro Jiménez.
The student focused on using computer tools to assess biological information and study the genetic and molecular data of the original tumor and its four metastases. Jiménez was able to find that what had caused the reduction of two out of four tumors in the patient’s body was its immune system.
The university student, in cooperation with Alexandra Snyder, an investigator from New York, validated the computer results when he found that the shrinking tumors showed more cells of the immune system than cancer cells.
The Mexican student’s work appeared on the cover of the Cell scientific journal, resulting in other academic papers derived from his original research. Jiménez stated that he was glad to have been chosen among so many high-level scientists.
The PhD is currently in a short stay at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel, working alongside investigators Yardena Samuels and Itay Tirosh.
Source: El Universal