cancer treatment

Genetic alterations in cancer patients, identified by new computational method developed in Barcelona

October 27, 2014 07:55 PM | ACN

A new computational method allows the detection, within just a few hours, of the genetic alterations responsible for the formation and progression of cancer tumours. This new method manages to accurately identify almost all types of genetic changes of cancer cells in a simple, quick and precise way. It is also able to identify large-scale chromosome rearrangements, which had been difficult to be detect until this breakthrough. The new method, called SMUFIN, has been developed by the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre and the ICREA (Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies), in collaboration with research groups from Barcelona, Oviedo and Heidelberg. This progress has been published by the prestigious journal 'Nature Biotechnology' and represents a significant step forward towards the personalised treatment of cancer and other illnesses.

Catalan tenor Josep Carreras: "We are an adult people and we know how to make our own decisions"

September 10, 2014 10:17 AM | ACN

On Tuesday evening the Barcelona-born opera tenor, Josep Carreras received the Golden Medal of the Catalan Parliament for his outstanding and internationally-recognised professional career, but also for his efforts leading a foundation that fights Leukaemia. In his acceptance speech, Carreras defended Catalonia's right to self-determination and the independence vote scheduled for the 9th of November. Carreras, who became a true world star in the 1990s with the Three Tenors, praised the idiom "live and let live", meaning that the Spanish authorities should authorise the self-determination vote. He asked the Catalan MPs "to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the others live and let us live". His words were particularly relevant as they were said at such an important event and two days ahead of the massive pro-independence demonstration, which will take place in Barcelona on Catalonia's National Day (the 11th of September).

Barcelona doctors can perform breast reconstruction in a single surgery

January 30, 2014 11:51 PM | ACN / Sergi Sabaté

A surgical team of the Hospital de Bellvitge in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Greater Barcelona, has successfully reconstructed the breasts of 22 women suffering from cancer in one single surgery. This world pioneer medical procedure, consisting in transplanting dorsal muscle on to the removed breast, allows patients to “turn the page” on the disease much more quickly, according to Joan Maria Vinyals, the Head of plastic surgery. Indeed, this “complete and radical reconstruction”, which includes the nipple and areola, avoids having to proceed to a second surgery and erases the usual trauma regarding aesthetic concerns. Leonor Garrido, one of the patients, stated that the technique “had improved a lot” her quality of life since she had her tumour removed and the breast entirely reconstructed immediatly after.

Catalan Oncology Institute will pay Roche drugs depending on clinical results

January 24, 2014 07:47 PM | ACN

The Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and Roche pharmaceutical company have signed an agreement stating that the Catalan public institute will pay for treatments against cancer depending on clinical results adapted to each specific patient. For now, the agreement provides that Roche will supply two drugs against the most common cancers, mostly breast and colon. According to the agreement, the probabilities of success will be thoroughly examined and if they meet the requirements, the Catalan Government will fully pay for the treatment. If not, Roche will assume the costs progressively according to the degree of success.

Two Catalans to lead New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre

November 26, 2013 07:03 PM | ACN

Doctor Joan Massagué has been appointed Scientific Director of the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York , the world’s leading cancer research centre, which is part of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. The Catalan scientist has been chosen by an international expert committee and will take office on the 1st of January 2014. The President and CEO of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Craig B. Thomson, said that Massagué had been given the job for his “exemplarity as a scientist” and because he is an “international leader” in the study of metastasis and factors regulating cell growth. This announcement follows last year’s appointment of another Catalan Doctor, Josep Baselga, as the Physician-in-Chief of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. Both Baselga and Massagué will continue to combine their responsibilities in New York with their research in Barcelona.

Tito Vilanova will not continue as FC Barcelona coach due to health issues

July 19, 2013 09:52 PM | ACN

The President of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, announced on Friday evening that the Catalan manager will not continue at Barça due to ongoing treatment of his illness. FC Barcelona will not travel to Poland on Saturday. During this evening’s press conference, president Rosell announced: “After evaluating the results from the routine check-ups, which Tito Vilanova underwent this week, he was presented with the option to continue treatment to control his illness which will make it impossible to continue his responsibilities as the first team manager of the senior side.” On 22 November of 2011 FC Barcelona announced that Tito Vilanova had a tumor on his parotid gland and he underwent emergency surgery.

Éric Abidal joins Monaco after 6 years playing for FC Barcelona

July 8, 2013 09:14 PM | CNA

The French defender has signed a season long deal, with the option of a further year. Abidal returns to the football club where he played from 2000-2002 before signing for Lyon. Abidal played for Barça between 2007 and 2013. The Catalan club and the player announced in late May he will not continue playing with FC Barcelona in the next season. Abidal’s touching farewell took place in early June at the Camp Nou, after he had played the last 15 minutes of the FC Barcelona vs Malaga game.

The functioning of an important gene protecting cells from cancer is discovered by a Catalan-American study

July 4, 2013 01:52 AM | CNA

50% of tumours are related to mutations of this gene, according to the researchers. A study developed by the Bellvitge Institute of Biomedical Research (IBIDELL), based in Greater Barcelona, and the University of Cincinnati have discovered the role of the noncoding 5S rRNA molecule. This molecule regulates the P53 Tumour Suppressor Gene, which protects healthy cells from turning into cancerous cells. When the cell functions correctly, the levels of P53 are low and stable, but when something wrong is detected, the levels increase and cause the cell’s death, avoiding the development of a tumour. The director of the study, George Thomas, explained that understanding how the P53 works and regulates itself is extremely important since “more than half of the tumours present mutations of this gene”.

Tito Vilanova arrives in Barcelona after his two-month treatment in New York

March 26, 2013 06:01 PM | CNA

FC Barcelona’s Coach has landed on Tuesday morning, at about 8:05 at Barcelona El Prat Airport, after two months in New York when dealing with his illness. Jordi Roura and Aureli Altimira, who joined him on the flight home, will be taking this afternoon’s training session at the Ciutat Esportiva. Last December Vilanova underwent surgery for his parotid ailment relapse and in January he flew to the States to continue with his cancer treatment. In late 2011, Tito Vilanova had a first tumour removed from his parotid gland.

Survival rate of inoperable lung cancer patients raises to 80% with a pioneering technique developed in Catalonia

March 6, 2013 08:37 PM | CNA / Laia Ros

The Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) has introduced a world pioneering technique which allows four out of five patients who cannot undergo surgery to survive the illness. This technique causes less after-effects than the traditional radiotherapy. Furthermore, statistics show that with the regular treatment, two thirds of these patients die. However, Ferran Gadea, the Head of the Radiotherapy and Oncology Service, says that the best option to cure a lung cancer is still to undergo the operation when possible.

Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron Hospital discovers the essential role of a protein for colorectal cancer cell division

March 5, 2013 07:58 PM | CNA / Marine Berton

This is a real stride for the cancer research. The effects of a protein called condensing on colorectal cancer have been found out by a team of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry experts, at the Research Centre for Nanomedicine (CIBBIN-Nanomedicine) at the Vall d'Hebon Research Institute. The researchers have discovered that condensin helps the tumor cells to divide rapidly, so its inhibition leads to the death of tumour cells. The results of this research were published in the 'Journal of Biology and Chemistry', and they constitute a real hope for the fight against colorectal cancer.