The AECC awards Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS 2.1 million euros for cancer research

On Thursday, 11 November, the Spanish Cancer Association (AECC) awarded the AECC 2021 Grants for Cancer Research at an event held at the organization’s headquarters in Barcelona.

This year, the AECC has given out almost 20 million euros to fund 186 projects. Eight of the beneficiaries were from Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS: Antoni Castells, Sergi Castellví, Carlos Fernández de Larrea, Itziar Salaverria Frigola, Fara Brasó-Maristany, Leticia Benítez, Iván Archilla and Roberto Martín.

Antoni Castells, head of the IDIBAPS gastrointestinal and pancreatic oncology group, and his team will conduct a clinical trial to determine the best strategy for preventing colorectal cancer. The grant of 1 million euros will make it possible to analyze the utility of the two most widely used diagnostic tests: colonoscopy and the fecal occult blood test in reducing mortality in this disease.

The IDIBAPS genetic predisposition to gastrointestinal cancer group, led by Sergi Castellví, will investigate the causes of colorectal cancer in adolescents and young adults with the 300,000 euros of grant money awarded. Castellví and hist team work to identify alterations in the human genome that play a role in hereditary predisposition to gastrointestinal cancers.

Carlos Fernández de Larrea has received 297,271 euros to develop new strategies for improving immunotherapy and preventing relapse in patients with multiple myeloma. This cancer affects the blood plasma cells, which are responsible for producing antibodies. The IDIBAPS group on mechanisms of progression in monoclonal gammopathy, directed by Fernández de Larrea investigates therapeutic options associated with the patient’s immune system and with the tumor microenvironment.

The IDIBAPS research group on molecular genetics of pediatric lymphomas, led by Itziar Salaverria Frigola will dedicate 212,297 euros of the grant money to studying pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma, one of the most common childhood cancers, with the goal of advancing in its diagnosis and treatment.

Fara Brasó-Maristany, a researcher of the IDIBAPS group on translational genomics and targeted therapies in solid tumors received 200,000 euros to study and identify new weak points of metastatic breast cancer with the goal of overcoming resistance to treatments of this cancer.

The AECC also awards grants to junior clinical researchers. This is the case of Leticia Benítez, a predoctoral researcher in the IDIBAPS group on fetal and perinatal medicine, who will begin a new line of research on fetal programming and epigenetics. Furthermore, Iván Archilla and Roberto Martín received two AECC 2021 Clínic Formació Alumnes (Clínic Student Training) grants, which consist of training programs in cancer research in the clinical setting.