During the course of an open ‘paella’ that brought together eight hundred people in the Cúbic space of Viladecans, the Association Viladecans Against Cancer officially offered a 20,000 euros check to IDIBELL for the investigation of a new treatment for cancer metastasis of unknown origin, led by Dr. Manel Esteller (Epigenetics and Cancer Biology program of IDIBELL). This amount brings together the funds that the Association has been raising for a year, through the organization of activities of all kinds, such as popular walks, charity fairs, dance sessions and social awareness talks about the disease. The party, which was attended by several councilors of the City of Viladecans, and the Board of the Association, chaired by Maria Lluïsa Capdevila, was enriched with side recreational and charity activities, and also had an intervention of Dr. Manel Esteller. The researcher gratefully thanked the donation, which will help his research team to move forward in the search for a more effective treatment against a set of cancers that present, today, very low survival rates.
Cancer of unknown origin is defined by the presence of metastases without detection, with standard diagnostic tests, of the primary tumor. These cases represent 10% of detected metastatic cancers, which places them among the 10 most frequent tumors. In not knowing the tumor type of origin, broad spectrum chemotherapy is administered, with a very poor survival, which does not exceed 6-9 months. In order to personalize the treatment towards a more effective therapy, the project develops a test to simultaneously study more than 50 molecular alterations that have been previously associated with the efficacy of specific drugs, currently used in clinical practice. The test is a key strategy for the medical team that treats the patient, since it provides vital information to optimize the treatment and improve, as well, the hope and the quality of life of the patients.
The collaboration agreement between IDIBELL and the Viladecans Against Cancer Association goes back to the beginning of 2016. In response to the members's desire to channel, year after year, their donations to a specific cancer research project, IDIBELL opens, annually, an internal call for projects that, once prioritized, are presented to the Association during a visit to IDIBELL laboratories. Throughouy 2019, the association will work to raise funds for the development of preclinical trials of combination therapies against resistant breast cancer, a research project led by Dr. Miquel Ángel Pujana (IDIBELL-ICO).