Research to improve people's health


Felippe Lazar Neto: "The IDIAPJGol has opened the doors to Europe for me"

Once again, IDIAPJGol is an institute that is open to internationalization and that participates in projects with a cross-border impact. We are currently participating in a study on the vaccination of COVID-19 in cancer patients. The researcher behind this study is the oncologist Felippe Lazar Neto, a Brazilian from Sao Paulo who recently visited the institute to work on the data from SIDIAP. We have spoken with Felippe to find out more details about his career, study and about the work he has done here.


How was your stay at IDIAPJGol?
The treatment has been wonderful. I was very impressed with the SIDIAP database. It is without a doubt one of the most complete databases I have worked on. Everything was very tidy, it was very easy to work with it and extract all the data from it. Before arriving in Barcelona, I was afraid that I would not have time to finish all the work in two weeks, but with the help of other researchers and with the ease of the bank, I managed to fulfill most of the objectives. I felt very welcome by everyone, the weather was very good and the people very friendly.

After going through Harvard and Houston, what has coming to Catalonia meant for you?
I spent a year and a half doing research in the United States during my medical training and have always considered returning there if I decided to venture outside of Brazil again. But this experience at the IDIAPJGol has changed my ideas and now I also include coming here in future options. I have found that a lot of quality research is also done in Europe and that it offers a lot of possibilities. Without a doubt, the IDIAPJGol has opened the doors to Europe for me.

Why did you decide to specialize in oncology?
I always loved the conundrum of cancer. How a disease can be so important, to the point of changing not only the life of the patient, but also all the lives that surround him. Also, when I was young, a family member died of brain cancer. This hit me hard because I was under 30 when he left.

And one of these projects is the project that brought you to our institute. What is the study about?
This is a PhD on infection and vaccination of COVID-19 in oncology patients. The mortality rate of these patients is very high. During the planning of the project, the PhD supervisor, Octavio Tavares Ranzani from ISGlobal Barcelona, proposed that I do part of the research with the collaboration of Talita Duarte Sallés' group at IDIAPJGol, the Real World Epidemiology Research Group (RWEpi). I have spent two weeks analyzing Catalonia's data through SIDIAP. The final objective is to make a comparison between oncology patients from both countries and to evaluate their clinical response.

What have you discovered in your analyses?
The analysis of vaccine effectiveness in Catalonia is interesting, since the types of vaccines used were different from Brazil. Here we have a part of the population vaccinated with inactivated virus technology (CoronaVac, from China). On the other hand, in Catalonia, most received vaccines with mRNA technology (Moderna or Pfizer) and adenovirus (AstraZeneca).

Will the results be released soon?
Our idea is to shortly publish an article with the RWEpi group of IDIAPJGol where we explain the results of the analysis of the data extracted from SIDIAP on the effectiveness of vaccination, both for the first doses and for the booster ( third dose). Later, the same will be done with the results obtained in Brazil. Depending on the results in both countries, one idea is to publish a third article comparing the effectiveness of each of the vaccines and that will serve to apply future public health policies.