Yasmine Benslimane is investigating how the female hormone estrogen influences the spread of colon cancer to the liver

Yasmine Benslimane, M.Sc. trainee at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), has received the Doren J. Putrah Cancer Research Foundation Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to present her work at the AACR Annual Meeting, which takes place in New Orleans, LA, in April 2022. Her research project, “Estrogen regulates the Immune Microenvironment of Liver Metastases,” is supervised by Pnina Brodt, PhD, senior scientist in the Cancer Research Program at the RI-MUHC.

“By joining Pnina Brodt’s laboratory, I had the perfect opportunity to explore my passion for immuno-oncology and endocrinology,” says Benslimane. “Being able to look at cancer not as a single cellular entity, but rather as part of a complex microenvironment involving multiple actors – such as immune cells and cytokines – made me realize that effective therapeutic strategies can be designed to target these multiple environmental actors. I am grateful to receive this award to present my work at the AACR Annual Meeting.”

“In her project, Yasmine is investigating how the female hormone estrogen is influencing the spread of colon cancer to the liver,” explains Prof. Brodt. “Her work could lead to new treatments for aggressive colon cancer and other cancers that metastasize to the liver and thereby improve patients’ prognosis.”

Adds Benslimane, “Specifically, I am identifying key immune cells and factors that could enhance tumour outgrowth in the liver. My findings that pure anti-estrogen therapy reprogrammed the tumour microenvironment in the liver and could markedly decrease tumour outgrowth thrilled me and encouraged me to present these results to the AACR community.”

The Scholar-in-Training Awards are highly competitive and recognize outstanding young investigators presenting meritorious proffered papers at the AACR Annual Meeting.

Learn more about the AACR awards