Today, we had the chance to sit down with Dr. Mª Jesús Rubio Pérez, Gynecological Cancer Specialist and our MedSIR Oncologist of the Month. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:
MedSIR (MS): Thanks so much, Dr. Rubio, for being with us today. It really is a pleasure for us to interview someone of your talent and passion for the field of Medical Oncology in general and, specifically, Gynecological Cancer.
Dr. María Jesús Rubio (MJR): The pleasure is mine.
MS: Before we jump into the amazing advances currently happening in cancer research, let’s get to know you a little bit better. What brought you to Gynecologic Oncology? When did you realize that you wanted to help in this fight against cancer?
MJR: I realised that I was helping the fight against cancer in my last year of university. My dedication to gynaecological oncology arose when the specialty ended. This is an orphan pathology with a lot of future research, it simply attracted me and I had the opportunity.
MS: Very interesting! So, today you are currently working in the position of Gynecologic Oncologist at the Reina Sofia Hospital (Córdoba). How did you get there? What were your career steps? Who were the people who most influenced you along the way?
MJR: I was born in Córdoba, I studied at the University of Córdoba and when I was in the sixth year of medicine I decided to do a job (texina) on antiemetics, that took me to the Medical Oncology service and once there, the type of patients, the possibility to investigate…. Everything I wanted at that moment was in Oncology.
MS: Your specialty is Gynecological Cancer. What are the most recent advances that have you thinking that we are close to making big steps towards even better outcomes?
MJR: Currently, the recent advances based on the knowledge of molecular biology and target treatment is changing the perspectives of these patients. The arrival of drugs such as anti-angiogenesis, iPARP and soon immunotherapy, as well as the combination of these new drugs are improving the survival of these women who a few years ago had a very poor prognosis in the very short term.
MS: Let’s focus more on the POLEN study. As this is a “phase 0” study in patients with early-stage endometrial carcinoma, what do you think is the importance and, also, the limitations of this type of study? Do you think it will help to improve the prognosis of these patients in the near future?
MJR: The importance of the Phase 0 studies and the POLEN study in particular is that with them we can detect activity of a drug with a short exposure through the molecular changes that occur in the tumor.
The limitation is that they are women with a recent diagnosis of cancer, they present at that time an important anxiety to perform the surgery as soon as possible, for them that step will initially mean ending a nightmare.
I think that the results of the POLEN study will help women diagnosed with endometrial carcinoma in the future. I think it’s good for them to have a therapeutic agent like Olaparib and more so in tumors like endometrial carcinoma that can sometimes have a hereditary origin.
MS: Following on with MedSIR, what is your impression about us and our vision of the clinical research? Has your experience been positive?
MJR: I have a good impression of MedSIR. In my opinion, they are an amazing team that helps to conduct good clinical research. I think that MedSIR is contributing to the scientific community giving a true value to clinical oncology, creating knowledge and “know how” in the development of clinical trials.
The operation team is awesome! They work hard for the benefit of all parties included in the development and management of the clinical trials and, of course, in order to improve patient lives. They move very quickly in order to solve daily issues.
MS: What’s your opinion on how the MedSIR model is being received on the outside.
MJR: It should be obviously incredible. From the outside, MedSIR is considered one of the most innovative companies in the oncology field. People are beginning to understand that MedSIR’s model it is NOT like a CRO (Contract Research Organization). MedSIR is creating a new way to do things in clinical research and the design and management of clinical trials in oncology. People know that MedSIR is working with Oncology experts, and they are committed to extending the life of cancer’s patients.
MS: Thank you so much, Dr. Rubio, for your time. It was really an honor to spend this moment with you.
MJR: Thanks to you!