CREATECH cases: Alvaro Lladser, patience and dedication is based on the keys in the advance of research on immunotherapies against cancer in Chile

Image, courtesy Alvaro Lladser of Foundation Science and life.

Image, courtesy Alvaro Lladser of Foundation Science and life.

In Chile, there are several entities that are dedicated to generate research and development, one of them is Foundation Science and life. Founded in 1996, This private entity without profit aims to "improve the economic and social development of Chile through scientific discovery, "the entrepreneurship and the education in Sciences biological". For the founders the sciences play a role essential in the development social and economic of the country. For this reason created the concept science 360 °, low which is working simultaneously on:

  • Promote the discoveries through scientific research
  • Prepare scientists for the future
  • Build networks international that allow the participation of Chile in the science global
  • Promote enterprises of base biological
  • Stimulate and strengthen science education in schools and the community

Currently with 10 groups of research, one of them is Ph.d.. Alvaro Lladser, research that works in the line of immunotherapies, who recently received support of CREATECH. We talked with the researcher, who told us about one of his research projects and his experience as a researcher in science and life.

Alvaro is Principal Researcher of the laboratory of genetic immunotherapy of Foundation, This experience points out that working in science and life is very pleasant, Since it allows me to devote much time to do research with peace of mind, In contrast to work on research in universities, where the teaching load is very high, so the time to research is less".

Recently Alvaro and his team, completed a research project related to the development of an immunotherapy for the treatment of colorectal cancer and gallbladder, mainly. This project was financed thanks to the award of "project of r & d" of the old "program of r & d applied" from CORFO.

The research was based on how the immune system through the generation of T cell recognizes and attacks tumor cells. From this it was sought to promote the ability of the immune system to attack tumors. This because the body generates normally lymphocytes T, so the immune system is capable of removing small tumors, but when the tumor grows creates a microenvironment in tumor that is hostile to the T lymphocytes, so they cannot access the tumor and remove it.

The idea of this research was find the way of change that microenvironment to the lymphocytes T could enter and attack the tumor. This was accomplished through a Bacteriophage, It has a protein which has fragments of antibodies that bind to the surface of the tumor with bacteriophages immunogenic, that manage to change the microenvironment and allow the entry of the lymphocytes T.

Of course the path of this investigation which lasted 4 years not was easy, and as all project is found with difficulties that had that resolve is in the way. These had to do mainly with the generation of bacteriophages large-scale. Different techniques were used for this, obviously not all ran, to establish which of them was the most effective.

After overcome these difficulties were tested of this therapy in colorectal cancer, with good results. By what believe that is possible that is to attack other cancers of the tract digestive with this same strategy.

Although this research ended this stage, reaching the preclinical studies and was sent to be published in a magazine in the area, Alvaro says that "what is us comes is search source of financing to continue advancing in this strategy of promoting the action of lymphocytes T against tumors".

Alvaro for this project, with support of CREATECH, through the realization of a Study of the type Market & IP Assessment, that delivers an evaluation expert and independent in relation to the opportunity of market and patentability for the innovations. Of this collaboration says that "I was very happy, that was super efficient, "the team did a very good job".

Finally when you ask a Council for them researchers not be discouraged in the road of the research, Alvaro prefers to be cautious to deliver advice by speaking from their own experience. "It points out that"the immunotherapy is an area of research new in Chile, a difference of United States, where are at the forefront in this type of cancer treatment research, so the options of a who ask in case of uncertainty are limited, due to this little prior experience. So, and perhaps this applies to all areas of research, It is necessary to have a positive mentality to get through the bad times, must be patience and dedication, because at some point appear the good results".


Related articles: