Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, VOLUME 117 | 2022
Translational research in Chagas disease: perspectives in nutritional therapy emerging from selenium supplementation studies as a complementary treatment
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Laboratório de Inovação em Terapias, Ensino e Bioprodutos, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
Translational research (TR) is an interdisciplinary branch of the biomedical field that seeks to connect its three supporting pillars: basic research on the bench, the hospital beds and other health system services, and the delivery of products for the well-being and health of the community. Here, we review the five transition stages of the TR spectrum, registering the lessons learned during > 20 years leading to the first clinical trial designed and performed in Brazil for testing a complementary treatment for Chagas disease (CD): the selenium trial (STCC). Lessons learned were: (1) to consider all the TR spectrum since the beginning of the project; (2) to start simultaneously animal studies and translation to humans; (3) to ensure a harmonious interaction between clinical and basic research teams; (4) to include MSc and PhD students only in pre-clinical and basic studies (TR0) or vertical clinical studies using retrospective samples and data (TR1); (5) to identify potential suppliers in the national commercial market for a future final treatment since the pre-clinical stage; (6) to keep an international network of experts as permanent advisers on the project. In the whole process, some perspectives were created: a complementary clinical trial for the opened questions and the construction of a Brazilian clinical CD platform.