A breakthrough in personalized and precision cancer medicine lies in understanding gender

Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) and MSD Biopharmaceutical CompanyThe XIV Seminar for Journalists brought together leading experts in the field to offer a vision: Diversity and Cancer and address, among other things, gender differences in relation to this pathology. During the introduction of the seminar. Enriqueta Felipe, President of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), asserted that “gender and sex affect and condition not only the appearance, development and treatment of the disease, but also the effect of risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol, so it is very important to take these differences into account when adapting cancer strategies.” prevention and screening.

Also, and in another order of things, Dr. Felipe pointed to the need for women to obtain more management positions, whether in academia, research, or management in the health system.

As for advances in cancer treatment, Enriqueta Felipe, insisted that we share the changes, “but there is still a long way to go, although we must also highlight developments such as immunotherapy.” In this regard, he thanked the biopharmaceutical company MSD for its support and work to achieve new therapies that could lead to better treatments for patients.

Felix del Valle, Executive Director of the Oncology Department at MSD Spain, during the presentation of this seminar, claimed that his company has been working on international research for one hundred years and fifty years in Spain. “We strive to advance the evolution of therapies and new treatments thereby improving people’s quality of life. Regarding the theme of this workshop, environment, he announced that his company celebrated Diversity and Inclusion Month. “We must focus on diversity and cancer, we must continue this way of work,” he assured.

And that is to move forward on the road Personalized and precision medicineOne key is that both sex and gender weigh heavily, as genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal causes condition disease according to biological sex, while the social construction of gender can condition physician-patient interactions.

Diversity It should also be an important factor in the composition of research teams, and it is an aspect where there is still a long way to go to achieve a greater presence of women in leading and relevant positions in Oncology in Spain.

Gender differences in research

The first of the tables conducted addressed whether there was real diversity among research teams. And that is that women are generally underrepresented, either in basic scientific research or at higher levels of decision-making. “Actually only 33% of researchers are womendespite the fact that they represent 45% to 55% of undergraduate and graduate students and 44% of enrollment. doctoral programs. Remarkable fact. Women distinguished by the Nobel Prize in scientific fields make up only 6%3″, warned Dr. Enriqueta Felipe, who found out that, on the contrary, in the last 10 years, there are more female oncologists than men. Specifically, 126 women (51.6%) benefited from SEOM cancer research grants compared to 118 men (48.4%).

Dr. Rosario Perona “One of the objectives of the amendment to the Law on Science, published last September, is to help alleviate research inequalities that still persist in the Spanish science and technology system, such as attracting female talent to research and innovation, especially in the fields Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; maintaining and supporting the professional development of female researchers so that they do not abandon their scientific careers and progress at the same pace as their fellow researchers, thus achieving at least one presence. 40% women in all sectors of the system.

“Also, institutional transformation to guarantee equal, diverse and inclusive environments wherever science is performed and innovated, free from discrimination, gender bias, sexist behavior and sexual harassment or harassment based on gender; o integration of the gender dimension in projects R+D+I and sex/gender analysis in its content“.

“It is important that the actions of the agents of the System are adapted to the principles of composition and balanced presence between women and men, so that in the group in which they are; refers, people of each gender are not superior 60% not less than 40%. The participation of persons cooperating in the selection or evaluation processes, if they are single, will be of the gender less represented in the selection or evaluation body.

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