DNA fingerprinting, a key for the survival of cancer patients who do not respond to standard treatments

Jaume Giró, General Manager of the “La Caixa” Bank Foundation, and Manel Esteller, director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program of the Bellvitge Institute of Biomedical Research (IDIBELL), have presented today a pioneering study on epigenetic prediction of drug response to optimize cancer therapy in patients who no longer respond to standard treatments.

The study, developed over two years, has the support of “la Caixa”, which will allocate 301,600 euros. This new research aims to define markers of DNA methylation in colon, lung, pancreas and brain cancer cell lines, in order to predict response to new treatments and, therefore, provide tools to the oncologist to decide what is the best therapy for the patient, either approved or in clinical trials.

The results of the investigation directly benefit hundred patients’ participants in the clinical project, and should be the key to the implementation of the best therapy for each patient to lengthen and improve their quality of life and reduce the impact of treatment toxicity. Clinical trials will be done in collaboration with referral hospitals, as the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital – ICO Badalona, Duran Reynals Hospital – ICO Hospitalet and Josep Trueta Hospital – ICO Girona.

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