2020 April 27

New lines of research to study COVID19, immunosuppression and leukemia.

The Josep Carreras Foundation undertakes "More unstoppable than ever" a campaign to raise funds for the Institute's research on COVID-19 and immunosuppression.

Many patients with leukemia and other hematological malignancies are especially vulnerable to infections such as SARS-CoV2. Given the current health emergency crisis, the Josep Carreras Institute will apply its experience to confront the coronavirus in all types of patients, and in particular, the most sensitive ones. To this end, the Josep Carreras Foundation has launched the fundraising campaign "More unstoppable than ever" on the website www.imparables.org. The funds raised will be used for two lines of research on COVID-19 at the Josep Carreras Institute:

1) Identification of susceptibility factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection and prognosis. The Institute will investigate the genetic and epigenetic markers of coronavirus infection susceptibility and symptomatic evolution. The efficiency of the virus to enter in cell cultures will be studied, as will the degrees of infection by SARS-COV-2 in different tissues, and samples of population groups with antagonistic symptomatology to SARS-CoV-2: children and elderly adults; and asymptomatic patients against patients with severe symptoms.

The results of these tests, in which the Genomics and Proteomics units will collaborate, will be processed by the Bioinformatics Unit. Variants of susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 will be identified, and a second phase will be carried out with analyses of samples from asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID19+ patients and samples from severely or lethally symptomatic COVID19+ patients. These analyses will confirm the results obtained and validate potential biomarkers of prognostic stratification of COVID-19, contributing to improving the clinical management of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

2) Rapid test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The Institute will apply its knowledge to the development of assays using primary cells from patients, in collaboration with other institutions, to analyze the reactivity of a series of candidate antibodies, considering the scientific publications generated in COVID19 during the last weeks. They will study why the concentration of lymphocytes declines, cytokines are overexpressed, and the role of the lack of oxygen in patients with COVID-19 on red blood cell function. They will also try to evaluate the relationship between COVID-19 and the risk of disseminated infection in the bloodstream.

The results of this research will impact favorably on the health of the general population, including the priority objective of the Josep Carreras Foundation and Institute: the health of children and adults with leukemia and hematological malignancies, who are especially vulnerable to this disease.

You can donate to make this research possible at: https://www.fcarreras.org/es/masimparablesquenunca