Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA)

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SMC participants

Researcher in the Gene Therapy and Regulation of Gene Expression Programme and Director of Innovation and Transfer at Cima University of Navarra

Professor of Immunology at the University of Navarra, CIMA researcher and co-director of the Department of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Clínica Universidad de Navarra.

Senior Researcher of the Gene Therapy in Neurodegenerative Diseases Programme at the Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), University of Navarra

Researcher of the Gene Therapy and Regulation of Gene Expression Programme at Cima (Centre for Applied Medical Research) University of Navarra

Contents related to this centre

Parkinson's disease is usually diagnosed when there is already extensive neuronal damage and symptoms are evident. Now, researchers at Cardiff University in the UK have used movement and sleep quality data from wearable accelerometers and concluded that they can help identify the disease early, years before clinical diagnosis. Although there is no effective preventive treatment, the authors propose that the tool can determine people at risk of developing Parkinson's disease and identify participants for clinical trials of neuroprotective treatments. The results are published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Bacteriophage virus

A team of scientists led by the Catholic University of America in Washington has designed new artificial vectors based on viruses to improve gene therapy processes. The main novelty is that they are constructed from viruses that infect bacteria. Among other advantages, this would make it possible to avoid the possible memory of our defences against them and have a greater capacity. According to the authors, who publish their results in the journal Nature Communications, these nanoparticles "have the potential to transform gene therapies and personalised medicine".


A team of scientists led by the University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland) has tested a new treatment for glioblastoma, a highly aggressive nervous system tumour with a poor prognosis. The therapy consists of a fusion protein that combines the TNF factor - a key factor in the processes of inflammation and immune response - with an antibody that targets the tumour matrix. The researchers, whose results are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, have studied its action together with a type of chemotherapy both in mice and in six patients included in a phase 1 clinical trial.

Pancreatic tumour

A phase 1 clinical trial has tested personalised mRNA vaccines against the most common type of pancreatic cancer with a particularly poor prognosis. The treatment, which is tailored to the characteristics of each patient's tumour, was given to 16 people along with surgery, chemotherapy and other immunotherapy. Half of them showed an immune response to the vaccine, which was associated with a better prognosis. The results are published in the journal Nature.


A study led by Spanish researchers and published in Science Advances has tested a new technique to improve gene therapy treatments for Parkinson's disease. Using ultrasound, they have managed to open the blood-brain barrier in specific areas, allowing the viruses used in the therapy to pass through and better reach the desired brain areas. After testing it on monkeys and three patients -patients were not given gene therapy, but the efficacy of the technique was tested using a radiotracer that does not normally cross the blood-brain barrier-, their conclusions are that the technique is safe and feasible and "could allow early and frequent interventions to treat neurodegenerative diseases".


RNA vaccines

News of cancer vaccines proliferate in the media, yet only one such vaccine has been approved - against metastatic prostate cancer - and is no longer in use. However, only one as such has been approved - against metastatic prostate cancer - and it is no longer in use. Are the attention and hopes justified? What do they consist of and how are they similar to traditional ones? Are they preventive or therapeutic? Can they be universal or will they be extremely personalised? How much will they cost? This is what we know today.


Two preclinical studies published in the journal Science have introduced new bioengineered modifications to CAR-T cells in an attempt to make them more potent and safer in their anti-tumour action. These variations allow their activity to be enhanced only in the vicinity of the tumour or their actions to be regulated on demand.


Research to be published in the journal Nature identifies and characterizes the cells responsible for relapse in colon cancer. In addition, it proposes revising clinical guidelines and administering immunotherapy before surgery to try to avoid them


Research has tested a gene therapy method that targets overactive cells to treat epilepsy in mice. The results are published in the journal Science.

Linfocito B

A study published in the journal Nature Medicine has tested a therapy based on CAR-T cells - T lymphocytes modified in the laboratory - to treat five patients with systemic lupus erythematosus who did not respond to conventional treatments. According to the study, the symptoms subsided in all of them and the improvement was maintained throughout the duration of the study.