Alliance to develop new personalized treatments against lung cancer

Curelung CIMA (1)

The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) has participated in the “Cancer of lungs: the molecular knowledge to treatment” international meeting co-organized with the Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), from the University of Navarra.

This event, framed within the Curelung project funded by the European Commission, brought international experts who presented the latest scientific and genetic aspects about new therapeutic strategies in lung cancer.

In one session, Jun Yokota, from the National Cancer Center Research Institute of Tokyo, presented his research work on the discovery of genetic alterations that could allow personalized treatments in lung cancer. Other results focused on the treatment of disease through immunotherapy or a combination of various available treatments. On the other hand Rafael Rosell and Luis Paz-Ares highlighted recent advances in therapies leaded against molecular targets in lung cancer.

Luis Montuenga, director of the Department of Oncology at the CIMA and co-organizer of the event, underlined: “the progress in reducing mortality rates for lung cancer has to come from the optimization of protocols for early detection and the design and the combined use of drugs leaded against new molecular targets that are more efficient and create less resistance”. So, the researchers are developing a complete genomic and epigenomic analysis, both cell lines of lung cancer as a large number of primary tumors from patients. “Several markers, that could be helpful in managing the patient, have been identified since the beginning of the Curelung project, the past year and a half. The following steps will be designed to characterize and validate these markers in different cell models and animals”, said Manel Esteller, director of the Program for Cancer Epigenetics and Biology in the IDIBELL, and pioneered the study of epigenetic aspects of lung cancer and other diseases.

The Curelung project

The international collaboration Curelung is an initiative developed within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development, funded by the European Commission. Its main objective is to improve survival in patients with lung cancer through the characterization of molecular, genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in tumor cells and the development of new therapies directed against these specific targets. It also deals with the study of molecular mechanisms that determine the efficacy of therapeutic response.

About lung cancer

Lung cancer is a tumor that has higher rates of mortality worldwide. Only in Spain each year die around 20,000 people for this cause. The high mortality rate is because the illness is diagnosed in an advanced stage. The survival of patients with lung cancer is very low because of the late detection and lack of effective therapies. Between 10% and 15% of patients survive more than 5 years after the detection of lung cancer and their origin, in more than 80% of cases, is caused by tobacco.

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