University of Navarra

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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

Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra and researcher at the Institute for Health Research of Navarra (IdiSNA) and the CIBERobn

Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (United States)

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

Researcher at the Laboratory of Experimental Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Navarra

Contents related to this centre
Cell therapy

CAR-T cell therapies may, in some cases, produce tumours secondary to treatment. A few months ago, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was assessing this risk. Now, a study conducted at Stanford University Medical Center (USA) has tracked 724 patients who received this type of treatment since 2016. Of these, 14 developed another blood tumour, but only one was a T-cell lymphoma that could be a direct consequence of the therapy. Further analysis ruled out this link. The results are published in the journal NEJM

ultraprocessed foods

People who eat more ultra-processed foods have a "slightly higher" mortality rate, according to an analysis published in The BMJ. The study analysed data from more than 110,000 people followed up for over 30 years in the United States. The correlation between ultra-processed food intake and all-cause mortality was strongest for the meat, poultry and seafood group. 


A monoclonal antibody called prasinezumab reduces the worsening of motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease who have rapidly progressive disease, according to an analysis of a phase 2 clinical trial published in Nature Medicine. These findings suggest that clinical efficacy of prasinezumab, which works by binding to alpha-synuclein protein aggregates, is seen after one year of treatment in such patients. According to the authors, more research is needed to determine whether the antibody can be effective in people with slower disease progression after longer periods of treatment. 


A phase 2 clinical trial in France has examined whether taking an oral anti-diabetic drug called lixisenatide - a GLP1 receptor analogue, similar to those also used for weight loss - also has an effect on the progression of Parkinson's disease. The results indicate that there is a modest but significant decrease in the progression of motor symptoms of the disease, although side effects were also observed. The results are published in the journal NEJM


Ingesting small amounts of apple cider vinegar daily for three months helps control weight in overweight or obese people, according to a clinical trial involving 120 young Lebanese people. The results, published in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, show that consumption of this substance - which has become fashionable among some celebrities - was associated with decreases in weight, body mass index and blood levels of glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol. The authors suggest that this substance could serve as a complementary treatment for obesity.


Eating more ultra-processed foods is linked to a higher risk of health problems, according to an umbrella review of 45 previous meta-analyses, involving almost 10 million people in total. The research, published in The BMJ, finds direct associations between exposure to ultra-processed foods and 32 health parameters. The strongest evidence links this exposure to cardiometabolic health problems, mental disorders and overall mortality.

Cell therapy

A multidisciplinary study involving several Spanish research groups has preclinically tested a new type of immunotherapy for multiple myeloma. Instead of modifying T cells to attack the tumour directly, as CAR-T cells do, they have managed to make them secrete bispecific antibodies, which bind to the tumour on one side and to other T cells on the other, attracting them to the tumour. According to the authors, this cell therapy was more effective than traditional CAR-Ts and could generate less resistance. The results are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. 

CAR-T cells

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement reporting that it has received reports of T-cell tumours in patients who received various CAR-T cell treatments. As quoted in the statement, "although the overall benefits of these products continue to outweigh their potential risks for their approved uses, FDA is investigating the identified risk of T cell malignancy with serious outcomes, including hospitalization and death, and is evaluating the need for regulatory action".


Research by researchers in Shanghai, China, suggests that continued practice of tai chi can slow the progression of Parkinson's disease symptoms and delay the need for increased doses of medication. The study compared 143 people who underwent tai chi training with 187 non-trainees who served as a control group. The results are published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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".