Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital (Cantabria)

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SMC participants

Neurologist at the Marqués de Valdecilla-IDIVAL University Hospital and lecturer at the University of Cantabria

President of the Spanish Society of Immunology (SEI) and former secretary of the Spanish Society of Transplantation (SET)

Contents related to this centre

Genetic forms of Alzheimer's are considered to be those in which certain variants of a gene inevitably lead to the disease over time. Until now, only rare alterations in three genes were considered as such. A group of researchers led by the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona has proposed a new, much more frequent form. After analysing data from more than three thousand donated brains and clinical data from more than ten thousand patients, they found that almost all people who carry two copies of the ApoE4 variant in the ApoE gene, which was previously only considered a risk factor, also end up developing the disease.They publish the results in the journal Nature Medicine.  


Toledo and Alicante are suffering the first outbreaks of measles recorded in Spain since the pandemic, El País reported today. In total, 15 cases have been confirmed since 1 January, of which seven are imported and eight autochthonous.


A study has analysed more than 100 environmental factors and their impact on the immune response. After studying about a thousand volunteers, its conclusions are that smoking is the factor that causes the most alterations in defences. While some changes are transient, others may remain for years after quitting. The results are published in the journal Nature.


Currently, when an organ transplant is performed, the patient has to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent his or her system from rejecting the new organ. These drugs must be taken for life and have numerous side effects. In a phase 1 clinical trial, researchers gave patients receiving a liver transplant regulatory dendritic cells derived from the original donor, with the hypothesis that these cells could 'teach' the recipient's immune system to tolerate the new organ. The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that this treatment could reduce or even eliminate the need for long-term use of immunosuppressants.


The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has licensed Hipra's vaccine - currently called Bimervax - against SARS-CoV-2 as a booster in people aged 16 years and older who have previously been vaccinated with mRNA vaccines. The EMA began the ongoing evaluation of the vaccine, which was expected to be approved in the middle of last year, on 29 March 2022.


The director of the Vaccine Strategy of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Marco Cavaleri, told a press conference on 11 January that "it is not sustainable in the long term to continue giving booster doses every three or four months [to the general population]". Spanish immunologists agree that this is not the right thing to do. In these reactions they explain why.