The new breast cancer study is led by Dr Julio Delgado. A haematologist and the head of the Onco-Immunotherapy Department at Hospital Clínic Barcelona, he is also a researcher in IDIBAPS’ Lymphoid neoplasms group.
The study is a phase I clinical trial investigating treatment for HER2+ breast cancer. Its main objective is to evaluate the toxicity and effectiveness of ARI-HER2+ cells in treating this type of breast cancer, seeking to determine the most appropriate dose for each patient, and to establish the bases for developing a new therapeutic alternative aimed at people affected by this disease.
The project aims to design a personalised new cell therapy drug that would be effective in patients without treatment options, involving genetic reprogramming of the patient’s immune system. This clinical trial will be conducted in three Spanish institutions: IDIBAPS-Hospital Clínic Barcelona, Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid and Clínica Universidad de Navarra, where different doses of the medication will be tested to find the most appropriate one to continue with this development. The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) has already approved this new product.
This new research project funded by El Corte Inglés gives continuity to the study on personalized immunotherapy in breast cancer that has been developed by Dr Aleix Prat, director of the Institute of Cancer and Blood Diseases at Hospital Clínic Barcelona, who leads the Translational genomics and targeted therapies in solid tumours research group at IDIBAPS. In 2020, El Corte Inglés committed to contribute one million euros to this project over a period of five years.
This research in personalised immunotherapy was carried out by a multidisciplinary team from several hospitals with notable achievements, such as the approval of TILs by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS). The study led by Aleix Prat has focused on activating the patients’ immune system, allowing it to recognise and eliminate tumour cells. One of the approaches uses Adoptive Cellular Therapy (ACT), with TILs being one of these treatments. ACT involves isolating cells from the patient‘s own immune system, handling them in the laboratory and subsequently reintroducing them through transfusion so that they can effectively fight cancer.
The partnership programme between the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) and El Corte Inglés to help with breast cancer research has funded three projects in their entirety. Research support began in 2014 with a project focused on hereditary breast cancer. In 2017, a project aimed at developing a predictive test for precision medicine was funded. In 2019, a third project focused on hormone therapy began, focused on a new tumour marker.
The partnership between El Corte Inglés, the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) and the researchers has driven advances in breast cancer research and has the potential to make a significant difference in the battle against this disease.