JTWIA | Just the Woman I Am is the event that, for 8 years, through a 5km run – walk and collateral initiatives has raised funds for university cancer research, promotes prevention, healthy lifestyles, inclusion and gender equality.You can participate:in PRESENCE, starting on 6 MARCH 2022 at 4.00 pm in Turin, from the splendid Piazza San Carlo;

in VIRTUAL MODE, choosing the venue and the 5km route you prefer, sharing your experience on our website and on social networks.With a minimum of 20 people, it is possible to register as a Group and personalize your t-shirt at no additional cost with your team logo!

#SCEGLIDINONMANCARE at the first global event in support of university cancer research.
#CONLEI – Year after year, the pink river of JTWIA has reached almost 100 thousand enrollments in Italy and beyond, strengthening the link between the Italian university system, the world of associations and citizenship, in the name of common good (and well-being) .

Tumors are characterized by uncontrolled cell growth that can spread and attack healthy tissues and organs. The cause is hereditary in only 5-10 percent of cases, much more often it is linked to external factors such as tobacco consumption, nutrition, exposure to infections or radiation.

Mostly these factors do not modify the structure of genes, but they can influence their expression, that is, the way in which the DNA sequence is read by the cells. These changes are called epigenetic changes and prevent the immune system from recognizing cancer cells as such. Cancer cells “hide” and therefore the immune system can no longer attack them.

However, some of these epigenetic changes are reversible. And this is where research comes in. With the help of particular substances – inhibitors – researchers can block the interference so that important genes that were turned off can become readable by cells again. The immune system will then be able to recognize the degenerated cells again, attack and remove them.

The EPIC (Epigenetics of Immunity in Cancer) project, launched in September 2019, focuses on HDAC (histone deacetylase enzyme) inhibitors by investigating their effects on cancer development.

The research group is made up of chemists, doctors, biologists and bioinformaticians from the Universities of Udine, Salzburg and Trieste and the Eurac Research Institute of Biomedicine, in Bolzano.

The University of Udine carries out experiments on a series of substances to verify their inhibitory capacity on HDACs. In the Trieste laboratories, the most promising substances are optimized using computer models and then synthesized.

In Salzburg, the inhibitors that work best are put to the test – through cellular models – considering their effect on cancer cells and the immune system. The data collected by all partners are finally sent to Eurac Research’s bioinformaticians to proceed with the analysis.

Using state-of-the-art sequencing methods, Eurac Research researchers evaluate the difference between cancer cells with and without inhibitors: they analyze which genes are active, in which parts of the cell the products of genes characterized by an epigenetic modification are active and the effects of these substances on the human organism.

Researchers compare their results with international databases to obtain further information on tumor development. The three-year research project thus aims to create the basis for new advances in cancer immunotherapy.


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