Doctors Alejandro Corvalan and Catterina Ferreccio.

Chilean Academy of Medicine awarded two scientists for his research on cancer

– Researchers they belong to Center for advanced chronic diseases, ACCDIS.

that-230x230The doctors Alejandro Corvalán and Catterina Ferreccio, researchers at the Center for advanced chronic diseases, ACCDiS , were awarded the Academy of Medicine Award 2014, for his medical career and sustained line of research in the area of cancer. The distinction for "contributions to epidemiology, etiology and early recognition of neoplastic diseases in Chile"was handed over to the Catholic University academics, by Dr.. Rodolfo Armas, President of the Chilean Academy of medicine.

For both scientists, the award received in conjunction, It is not only a recognition of the personal career, but also the multidisciplinary work currently under way in Chile and in the Center ACCDiS, dedicated to the study of chronic diseases that affect the national population, including, Cancer woes.

Gastric and gallbladder cancer

One of these contributions, is it reflected in the discovery of Dr. Alejandro Corvalan, who discovered an early marker of gastric cancer, call Reprimo, which has allowed search malignant lesions in very early stages of the disease, When there are symptoms no. Studies on this element, which can be detected by a blood sample, they constitute a contribution in the field of health, and can help the prevention of this type of cancer, It is responsible for cause the highest rate of death from tumors in our country.

Another milestone, starring the Dra. Ferreccio, It is the recent population study - cohort- that ACCDiS is developing in the city of Molina, through which, 10,000 locals are expected to study, to analyze the risk factors that promote the development of chronic diseases, including, gall bladder cancer. In the latter case, It believes that environmental components, they might contribute to disease, that it is the leading cause of cancer death in Chile.

Epidemiology and public health

With respect to the award, the Dra. Catterina Ferreccio, researcher at the Department of public health of UC, was happy with its obtaining. "I find it very significant that my specialty, Epidemiology, is being recognized for the first time in the country. And on the other hand, the fact that this award of the Academy of medicine is shared with the Dr. Corvalán, It is an important signal that health problems cannot be tackled by a single discipline", explains.

Medical profession, throughout his career, the Dra. Ferreccio has conducted various research with impact on public health. One of these areas is the papilloma virus, the State-funded study, "national information that served as the basis for the development of standards and vaccines), thus allowing for, for example, the modernization of the cervical cancer prevention program".

Another milestone, they are studies on the chronic effects of exposure to arsenic in drinking water, studies that develops from the years 90'. In this context, the Dra. Ferreccio demonstrated that this toxic material - which in Antofagasta reached an 80 times higher level than recommended -, could cause lung cancer in the population.

In gastric cancer, He has also made contributions, with his studies on the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, one of the disease-causing agents. Also, He has investigated in infectious diseases such as cholera, helping with this, the establishment of sanitary measures. "I think that in Chile we have progressed in an epidemiology of high impact, though sometimes it's not as fast as you'd want. The important thing is that we can bring a benefit to society", explains.

Early diagnosis

Dr. Alejandro Corvalan, physician and researcher at the Department of Hematology - Oncology of the UC, He has devoted much of his career to research. And very early, It has found a niche to advance: gastric cancer, disease that in Chile generates 3 thousand deaths a year. His greatest contribution to science and medicine, It is the discovery of the marker Reprimo, as a tool for early diagnosis, studies have already been applied in more than 1.000 inhabitants of La Florida, with 70% effectiveness in tracking these malignant injuries.

During his career, Dr. Corvalan has also contributed to the training of graduate students and scholars to, in some cases, "now form part of the academic spectrum and in addition", they are authors of numerous articles on cancer, published in high impact journals". Against this stage, Dr. Corvalan is proud of the recognition awarded by the Academy of medicine, He believes, It also reflects the importance "that is giving the associative research, as performed in ACCDiS".

Winner of projects such as Go to Innova Chile CORFO's Market, the researcher has also explored the field of innovation and investor search for future validation of the gastric cancer marker, FDA, Food & Drug Administration of USA. UU. Your plan now, It is to carry this study other countries of Latin America, which include, Costa Rica and Colombia. At the same time, He hopes to continue analyzing new biomarkers of this evil cancer, in order to develop a more thorough test.

"My aspiration is that this tool is used at the level of public health. However, It may be that Reprimo itself alone not enough, and that is why, I am researching new markers, as well as, working on the development of methods to make more sensitive detection. Everything points to early detection, that no doubt, It can bring important results in the population", designates the researcher. (By: Carolina Todorovic. Agency Ines Llambias communications).