CIESAL researcher earns master’s degree with honours.


On April 7th, Natalia Pérez Barraza, CIESAL researcher and lecturer in the Department of Anatomy at the School of Medicine, defended her master’s thesis, entitled “Stromal cells, matrix elements and A3AR adenosine receptor in biopsies from a cohort of patients with prostate cancer, and their association with histological classification, prostate antigen, and clinical tumour stage”. Natalia was studying for a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences specialising in cellular and molecular biology, and her viva was classed as outstanding by the thesis committee, who unanimously awarded her the highest possible grade (7.0).

Natalia followed up of a cohort of patients with prostate cancer, and has been studying several markers that could become potential aggressiveness markers. The work is an extension of a project called “Evaluation of molecular factors related to angiogenesis, proliferation and apoptosis in prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia, and their use as possible predictive factors for aggressiveness”.

The thesis was supervised by academics Eva Madrid and Sebastián San Martín, and was assessed by a Thesis Committee made up of professors Daniela López, Joan Villena and Pedro Acuña from the Faculty of Medicine.

The importance of this research lies in the fact that prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of death in men worldwide. In Chile, it is the second leading cause of cancer related mortality in males, so it is important to find new markers and associations indicating the level of aggressiveness of this pathology. The results of this study suggest that the identification of one of the analysed proteins could be related to the aggressiveness of this tumour as well as being associated with the histological classification and clinical risk groups of clinically localized prostate cancer, giving us the first indications that this protein may be a future prostate cancer marker.

The CIESAL Interdisciplinary Centre for Health Studies would like to congratulate Natalia on this important achievement.