IDIBELL leads a European project to develop personalized therapies for lung cancer


The ultimate goal of the CURELUNG project is to discover genetic alterations in lung cancer and investigate drugs that act specifically on their tumor cells. Thus, each patient may receive a specific and efficient treatment.

On 20 January, Curelung project has launched promoted by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development. In total, eleven institutions in seven European countries belong to the project. It has been on a presentation day held at the hall of the Hospital Duran i Reynals (ICO) in which the participants have marked the lines to follow on the program, with funding of 3.8 million euros, over the next three years.
IDIBELL researcher and project coordinator, Manel Esteller, explained that the purpose of research is to analyze the genome of tumour cells to find markers that respond to existing drugs, so that “we get a profile of lung human tumours that would allow us to predict which patients will respond better to a particular drug. The idea is to get a personalized treatment for lung cancer. The best drug for the best patient. ”

In the last decade there has been progress in the creation of therapies directed against oncogenic proteins that have enabled the creation of drugs to treat various cancers, but “the percentage of patients with these alterations is very low.” So the project involves leading researchers in lung cancer from several perspectives. Feature the latest technology in analysis of massive genomic and transcriptomics to identify new genes and identify biomarkers, as well as several experimental models and collections of samples of human lung cancer.

Manel Esteller has said that he would be satisfied if, after three years of research is possible to identify “a marker that responds to a particular drug in order to attract competent authorities to initiate a clinical trial stage” and get a personalized therapy for cancer lung.

Lung cancer is the most lethal type of cancer worldwide. In Europe are diagnosed each year more than 150,000 cases, 90% of them due to tobacco addiction. Only between 10 and 15% of patients survive five years after diagnosis. This is due “in part because 80% of lung cancer are diagnosed at a very advanced stage and it is no longer possible to operate and, in part, because patients respond relatively poorly to current therapies,” explained IDIBELL investigator, Montse Sanchez-Cespedes. In this sense, “another goal of the Curelung project is to study the mechanisms of tumour cell resistance to drugs.”

Curelung project reserachers
. Manel Esteller, IDIBELL (Spain)

. Montse Sánchez-Céspedes, IDIBELL (Spain)

. John K. Field, University of Liverpool (UK)

. Elisabeth Bambrilla, University Joseph Fourier (France)

. Luis Montuenga, FIMA (Spain)

. Roman Thomas, Max Plank Institut (Germany)

. Luca Roz, INT (Italy)

. Giorgio Scagliotti , University of Torino (Italy)

. Benjamin Besse, Institut Gustave Roussy (France)

. Jürgen Wolf, Clinic University of Klön (Germany)

. Krzysztof Kucharczyk, Biovectis (Poland)

. Suvi Saviola, MRCH (Netehrlands)

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