cancer research

Barcelona will host Europe’s largest hospital specialising in infantile cancer

February 15, 2017 06:24 PM | ACN

Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, the Leo Messi Foundation, the FC Barcelona Foundation and the IESE business school have joined forces to launch a campaign to get companies and the general public to help finance the new SJD Pediatric Cancer Center that is being planned for the city of Barcelona. The hospital, which is set to be Europe’s largest dedicated to infantile cancer and the third-biggest worldwide, will cost 30 MEUR. Once functioning, the centre could care for around 400 patients within its 5,137m2 installation, which will be located next to Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. If the deadlines are met, the construction of the new centre will start in the second half of 2017 and be ready by 2019. The facility will allow the increase of the recovery rate for infantile cancer, which is currently around 80%, help develop new drugs and reduce the side effects of treatments used. 

Catalan scientists discover that saturated fat fuels the spread of cancer

December 8, 2016 06:52 PM | ACN

A group of scientists from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology have identified a population of oral tumour cells which may feast on fats to spread throughout the body — a process called metastasis. According to the study, published this Wednesday in the prestigious scientific magazine ‘Nature’, some of these cells expressed high levels of a molecule called CD36, which helps cells to take up lipids from their environment. The research shows that applying antibodies that block CD36 and eliminate its interaction with fatty acids resulted in a reduced number of metastatic focus and also reduced their size by around 80% to 90%. “If we cut the lipids supply to those cells which generate metastasis they are practically unable to spread”, the leader of the IRB ‘Cancer and Stem cells’ team, Salvador Aznar Benitah, explained. 

Joan Massagué's team identify how cancer cells spread

March 30, 2016 07:10 PM | ACN

A team of oncologists led by Joan Massagué has made a breakthrough in cancer research. The team´s new study, one which lasted six years, was published on the 24th of March in the journal ‘Cell’. The study reveals the mechanics through which cancer cells evade the immune system´s defences and remain dormant for years, only to metastasise at a later time. Cancer cells do this by imitating stem cells, releasing a certain protein inhibitor which puts them in a hibernation-like state, making them undetectable by the immune system. The study also breaks with the more widely-held view of how cancer cells metastasise, and opens new doors for cures and treatment therapies. However, the solution is not so simple, warns Joan Massagué. 

Cholesterol plays a key role in cancer propagation, according to Catalan study

May 22, 2014 06:26 PM | ACN

Researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Catalan capital’s CELLEX Biomedical Research Centre (IDIBAPS-UB) have found the essential role played by cholesterol in cell mobility and tissue invasion, which also means its role in cancer propagation. In fact, this research, led by Professor Carles Enrich, is a key study for better understanding of cancer metastasis – the process in which cancer cells invade healthy tissues – and progresses the discussion on the relationship between cholesterol levels and cancer incidence. The paper is published in open access ‘Cell Reports’. In short they found that the so-called “bad” cholesterol (LDL cells) promotes cell mobility while “good” cholesterol (HDL cells) avoids cell propagation. The study opens new therapeutic paths to blocking cancer metastasis.

A pioneer study led by a Catalan hospital supports an easier way to detect colon cancer

February 24, 2012 12:02 AM | CNA

Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic has coordinated a world pioneer medical study with 60,000 patients. The study has compared the effectiveness of early detection of colon cancer by using a colonoscopy or a specific analysis searching blood in the patients’ faeces. The findings have proven that both diagnostic tests are equally reliable. Considering the differences between the financial costs of both tests, health risks, and comfort, colonoscopy might only be used for confirmation or treatment purposes. In addition, from now on all people older than 50 might be regularly checked in an easier and cheaper manner.

Catalan doctors help a patient become the first woman in the world with no ovaries to get pregnant

December 16, 2011 07:17 PM | CNA / Bertran Cazorla

Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Greater Barcelona has become the first facility in the world to assist a woman who lost her two ovaries to get pregnant. A decade ago she had to have her ovaries completely removed because of two tumours. Ovarian tissue was frozen, kept for ten years and now re-implanted. The patient has had her period again and, thanks to in vitro fertilisation, is now pregnant.