Gala 2022 Accountability
Purchased with funds from Gala, equipment contributes to oncological research
Biological safety cabin allows the manipulation of human cells and tissues, helping in research that seeks new treatments
After two years of being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pequeno Príncipe Gala 2022 once again brought together in person the supporters of the largest exclusively pediatric hospital in Brazil, the Pequeno Príncipe. Held in October, in New York, the event broke a record of resources donated to the institution: more than US$ 900,000.
“Since the beginning of this important initiative to mobilize society in favor of the lives of children and adolescents, we have raised around US$ 5.6 million and annually we divide these resources between the assistance and research activities that we develop,” explains the executive director at Pequeno Príncipe Hospital, Ety Cristina Forte Carneiro.
In assistance, resources are directed to the purchase of medicines used in the treatment of complex diseases, such as cancer and rare diseases, especially in cases where patients need bone marrow transplantation. These are medicines that the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS, abbreviation in Portuguese) does not provide and that have the power to change the outcome of treatment, in fact saving lives. Most of these medicines are imported, which increases their cost.
Investment in research
In research, resources are designated to the purchase of inputs, equipment and services that support the studies, and a smaller portion goes to expenses with human resources.
Among the devices acquired in 2022 is the biological safety cabinet. This cabin is used to protect human biological material from contamination by microbial agents such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. For this, during the scientific experiment inside it, the internal ventilation system keeps the air clean and safe.
The biological safety cabinet acquired with funds from the Pequeno Príncipe Gala was installed in pavilion 13 of the Center for Immunobiological Production and Research (CPPI, in Portuguese), a partner institution of Pequeno Príncipe. This pavilion is dedicated exclusively to studies carried out by the Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute in partnership with the CPPI.
The cabin has been used in several studies that investigate the development of pediatric tumors. To carry out these studies, the scientists use small samples of tumors taken from children treated at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital and which are stored in the institution’s biobank, which also relied on resources from Gala for its implantation.
These samples undergo cell culture and are applied to mice, so that scientists can study tumor development and possibilities for new therapies. From this follow-up, it is possible to evaluate the evolution of tumors to identify new treatment opportunities.
One of the projects that is directly benefiting from the equipment is the one that intends to develop a therapeutic vaccine against adrenocortical carcinoma. This type of cancer has a greatly increased incidence in the Southern region of Brazil, where Pequeno Príncipe is located. Difficult to treat in its advanced form (stages III and IV), this type of cancer does not respond well to chemotherapy treatment, with a high mortality rate when it is not diagnosed early.
“In a country where science has limited resources, having the support of investors through the Pequeno Príncipe Gala has been essential for the Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute. With these resources, we have access to modern equipment and inputs, essential for the development of our studies,” emphasizes the scientific director of the Institute, Bonald Cavalcante de Figueiredo.