Appointment of Francesca Pons, Group leader
We must devote all of our efforts to incorporating new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for cancer patients, as cancer is one of the most significant diseases for the population

Current research

Problem

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Europe and the first among people aged under 65. Its incidence increases as the population ages and it is calculated that by 2030, one new case of cancer will develop in Spain every 1.8 minutes, with one death every 3.8 minutes.

Increasing and optimising efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer is of the utmost importance. The group’s opinion is that the best way to do this is to promote translational research and incorporate clinical practice as quickly as possible into the ground-breaking advances made by laboratories.

Approach

The arsenal of diagnostic and therapeutic tools available for cancer patients includes molecular studies, diverse diagnostic imaging techniques and radiation therapy.  The research conducted by the group is focused on these areas, with the aim of developing techniques to improve diagnosis, prognostic assessment and evaluation of the response to treatment in these diseases.

In addition, work is being carried out on new cancer therapies based on the use of encapsulated and non-encapsulated ionising radiation.

Impact

The group’s intention is for molecular studies to provide information to enable doctors to offer patients more specific treatments. Furthermore, in relation to diagnostic imaging techniques, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) makes it possible to better establish the state of certain tumours and improve the prediction of the pathological response; positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) has proven to be extremely useful in evaluating the response to treatment in diverse neoplasms; sentinel lymph node detection prevents a large number of unnecessary lymph node extractions, and radiation therapy studies comparing conventional radiation to new types of radiation show promising results.