- The Constantes y Vitales Award is a recognition of excellence in scientific research and the contribution of Spanish scientists in the field of health.
Dr. Eduard Batlle, ICREA researcher and head of the Cancer Science programme at IRB Barcelona, has been honoured with the prestigious Award Constantes y Vitales for the Best Scientific Publication of the year, granted by AXA Foundation and Atremedia. This award, presented in the 9th edition of the Constantes y Vitales Awards, which took place on Friday, November 3rd, acknowledges Dr. Batlle's exceptional work in contributing to science and health prevention.
Dr. Batlle, who is also a group leader at the CIBER de Cáncer (CIBERONC), and his team have been awarded for their article "Metastatic recurrence in colorectal cancer arises from residual EMP1+ cells," which was published in the prestigious journal Nature in November 2022. This study identifies the cells responsible for relapse in colon cancer, a significant advancement in the fight against this disease.
The research led by Dr. Batlle's team has enabled the identification of hidden residual tumour cells in the liver and lungs and characterized how they evolve to give rise to metastases in these organs. One of the key findings of this study is the evidence that early immunotherapy, performed before surgery, can eliminate these cells before they initiate the development of metastases, which could prevent relapses in colon cancer.
These findings open new avenues for developing therapeutic approaches and diagnostic tools that can slow the progression and improve the prognosis of a disease that affects millions of people worldwide.
Dr. Batlle received the award from Dr. María Sanz Vicente, Director of Science, Strategy, and Corporate Social Responsibility at the Foundation General of the CSIC. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Batlle highlighted the exceptional team he has the pleasure of working with in his laboratory, with a particular emphasis on the essential contribution of the two first authors of this work, Dr. Adrià Cañellas-Socias and Dr. Carme Cortina.
Furthermore, he emphasized that success in science is built upon three pillars: "firstly, talent, which fortunately abounds in Spain; secondly, resources, which, unfortunately, are insufficient, placing us at the bottom of Europe in terms of investment; and finally, in a legislative and administrative framework that facilitates research work, an area with room for improvement," he concluded.
About IRB Barcelona
The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to offer pioneering solutions to unresolved medical needs in cancer and other diseases related to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).