The scientific foundation of the AECC and IRB Barcelona sign an agreement to initiate an ambitious research project on cancer

Agreement signature

Agreement signature

  • <p>Agreement signature</p>

Today the “Fundación Científica de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer” (AECC)(Scientific Foundation of the Spanish Association Against Cancer) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have signed an agreement through which the Foundation will fund the cancer research project entitled, “Estudio de los mecanismos moleculares de la metástasis del cáncer de mama a pulmón: función y potencial terapéutico de genes supresores de metástasis” (Study of the molecular mechanisms of metastasis of breast cancer to the lung: therapeutic function and potential of metastasis suppressor genes). The signing of this agreement was done in IRB Barcelona facilities at the Barcelona Science Park and involved Joan Guinovart, director of IRB Barcelona,  Francisco González-Robatto, president of AECC and its Scientific Foundation, Isabel Oriol Diaz de Bustamante, vice-president of AECC and its Scientific Foundation, and Roger Gomis, researcher at IRB Barcelona and coordinator of the project.

Chosen through an open competition, the project has been awarded 300,000 euros and will be developed over three years. This is the largest amount of funding that has been given to a non-profit making organization in our country. The aim of these open competitions for project funding, which select four projects for sponsoring each year, is to support and strengthen research of excellence in Spain.

According to Francisco González-Robatto, “once again, the Scientific Foundation of the AECC seeks to support and boost cancer research of quality in our country with the goal to improve the future prospects of cancer patients”. After thanking the Foundation for its efforts in the promotion of scientific research and in supporting the institute that he heads, Joan Guinovart recalled the importance of philanthropy for the scientific development of the country. “To win the fight against cancer all strata of society should be involved”.

Against the metastasis of breast cancer to the lung

Project: Estudio de los mecanismos moleculares de la metástasis del cáncer de mama a pulmón: función y potencial terapéutico de genes supresores de metástasis. (Study of the molecular mechanisms of metastasis of breast cancer to the lung: therapeutic function and potential of metastasis suppressor genes)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Roger Gomis Cabré
Organisation: Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

Roger Gomis holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Barcelona and completed his post-doc training at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In 2007, he joined IRB Barcelona as an ICREA researcher.

Summary

The project presented by Roger Gomis addresses the study of the alterations that occur in a cell during metastasis; changes that confer this cell with the capacity to grow and invade a distinct tissue from that of its origin. We are sadly accustomed to hearing that a tumour has caused metastasis. However, the alteration that a cell undergoes in order to allow this process involves several complex steps, because normally cells survive only in the milieu to which they belong. In most cases, the tumour grows and is present mainly in the tissue from which its cells derived. Additional changes (mutations) are required to trigger metastasis.

Knowledge about how these mutations arise, what occurs inside a tumour cell that confers it the capacity to grow in a “hostile” environment, is crucial to address this disease. At an international level, this knowledge gap is being addressed on two fronts. On the one hand, the study of cancer stem cells, and on the other, the characterization of the molecular changes that enable a tumour cell to migrate and grow in a “hostile” environment”.

The Scientific Foundation of the AECC

Aware of the importance of cancer research for a better diagnosis and treatment of the disease, the “Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer” (AECC)(Spanish Association Against Cancer) has established one of its priorities as supporting cancer research in Spain. With this purpose, the Scientific Foundation of the AECC was set up on 25 October 1971.

The Scientific Foundation channels the social demand for cancer research by strengthening the scientific system in this country. Acting as a bridge between the scientific community and the public at large, the Foundation seeks to transfer research advances to society with the final aim to improve the prospects for cancer patients.

The "Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer" (AECC)

The “Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer” (AECC)(Spanish Association Against Cancer) was established in 1953 as a private non-profit making organisation of common public interest, whose main objective is to fight against all present and future forms of cancer. In order to contribute to the training of researchers and to strengthen cancer research, in 1971 the AECC set up the Scientific Foundation, which channels and manages funding devoted to these goals.

The AECC has a work philosophy based on the collaboration and mutual support with health authorities, scientific institutions and other organisations that share similar goals. The AECC operates under the principles of independence impartiality, transparency and objectivity.

With its head offices in Madrid, the AECC develops its activity throughout Spain through 52 provincial offices, which are represented in more than 2,000 towns and cities, thanks to more than 13,500 active volunteers.

More information at www.todocancer.org

Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

IRB Barcelona is an independent, non-profit research institution engaged in basic and applied biomedical science. IRB Barcelona brings together top ranking scientists who are devoted to answering the fundamental questions in biomedicine, with a particular focus on addressing cancer from several approaches and to applying scientific advances to specific issues in human health. Furthermore, IRB Barcelona has a scientific programme specifically devoted to Oncology, which focuses on cancer metastasis and colon cancer.

The Metastasis Laboratory (MetLab), headed by Roger Gomis, identifies the genes associated with metastasis of breast cancer to the lung and to other vital organs. This Lab seeks to elucidate the processes through which cells read and transform the signals that determine their final behaviour (division, differentiation, organisation or death). The MetLab has established international collaboration agreements with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where Joan Massagué, adjunct director of IRB Barcelona, directs the Cancer Biology and Genetics Programme. In addition the Metlab also has several collaboration agreements with research centres and local and national hospitals.

For more information:

AECC
Ketchum/SEIS
Carolina Rodríguez-Solano/ Victorino Ballestero
carolina.rodriguezarrobaketchum.com
victorino.ballesterosarrobaketchum.com
Tel.: 91 788 32 00 Fax: 91 788 32 99

IRB Barcelona
Sonia Armengou, Press Office
sonia.armengouarrobairbbarcelona.org
Tel.: 93 403 72 55