HEALTH / CRIS against cancer celebrates the end of 2021 with 12 decisive milestones in cancer research

Thanks to their tireless work, CRIS cancer researchers have developed, in laboratories and CRIS Units in public hospitals, innovative and personalized treatments for patients who do not respond to conventional treatments, achieving encouraging results.

“We want to thank all the partners, collaborating companies, friendly foundations who are the true protagonists of our achievements, since their support has made it possible for us to invest 20% more than the previous year, a total of 7 million euros in research in 2021 ”, assures Marta Cardona, director of CRIS against cancer.

CRIS against cancer wants to close the year by valuing research, since it is the only way to end this silent pandemic that is cancer. So he wants to share 12 of the many achievements made this year, thanks to the tireless efforts of CRIS researchers. These milestones make it tangible that research is the real hope of those cancer patients who are not currently responding to conventional treatments.

Marta Cardona, director of CRIS against cancer explains why we must not stop and continue investigating: “Perhaps cancer advances do not get many headlines in the media, but they do achieve that researchers obtain innovative and personalized treatments that directly benefit to the patients. Each achievement in cancer is important, small or big, but research is essential to be closer to ending cancer “and adds:” We want to thank all the partners, collaborating companies, friendly foundations, who are the true protagonists of our achievements, since your support has made it possible for us to invest 20% more than the previous year, a total of 7 million euros in research in 2021 “

THE 12 MILESTONES OF THE CRIS AGAINST CANCER UNDER RESEARCH

1. A decisive impulse for prostate cancer research: During 2021 we have increased the number of open projects in prostate cancer to 4, in order to face this type of cancer from different perspectives and accelerate the arrival of effective therapies for patients with tumors resistant to treatments. CRIS’s work in prostate cancer.

2. Bet on breast cancer: In 2021 we have expanded the breast cancer projects to 4, to study its different forms and understand its various stages in a more global way. The objective is to be able to combat resistance to treatments and develop effective therapies for complex forms, such as triple negative tumors. CRIS’s work in breast cancer.

3. Work on the New Experimental Therapies Unit of the Hospital Clínico San Carlos has been completed: This pioneering unit generates state-of-the-art treatments for patients with all types of solid tumors and has its own clinical trials unit, so that the step from the laboratory to the patient as quickly as possible.

4. Opening of the Pau Project: Thanks to the incredible initiative of the T-Shirt of Pau we have opened the Pau Project at the Valld’Hebrón Institute of Oncology, in which Dr. Elena Élez will study why some patients with metastatic colon cancer do not respond to therapies and will seek new avenues of treatment.

5. The calls for the CRIS Programs continue to be a success: In just 3 years they have positioned themselves as one of the most coveted calls at the national level, due to their quality, value and prestige. We have launched the 3rd edition, and the winners of previous editions are already obtaining important results, from publications in prestigious scientific journals to the development of clinical trials.

6. Launch of the groundbreaking CRIS Out-Back Program: CRIS has launched in 2021 a unique program, called Out-Back, with which researchers can spend 3 years in international institutions with the guarantee of having a 1-year contract on his return. In addition, this program has a training program for the winners, in which the most important medical and scientific societies in Spain and some international ones participate, which seeks to provide them with skills that make them stand out and become benchmark researchers.

7. International Childhood Cancer Projects: CRIS has strengthened its fight against the most complicated childhood tumors in 2021, and it does so at an international level. One of its milestones has been to launch, with the help of Dr. Antonio Pérez, the Fighting Kids Cancer / Imagine project, which together with teams from Norway and France are creating a therapy that combines the most advanced cell therapies with nanotechnology. On the other hand, CRIS UK and CRIS France support projects against childhood brain cancer that during 2021 have generated important and encouraging results.

8. Strong international growth of CRIS: CRIS UK has been reinforced in 2021 with two powerful projects in two types of tumor with high mortality: head and neck cancer and chordoma. These are in addition to the 3 projects that were already underway, in childhood brain tumors, multiple myeloma and immunotherapy in thoracic tumors. On the other hand, at CRIS FRANCE, CRIS has been working to launch in 2022 a pioneering call to carry out high-impact clinical trials in patients.

9. We have launched a Research Master’s Degree for Radio-Oncologists together with the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology: Together with SEOR we have created a Master’s degree in which radiation-oncologists doctors will receive exclusive training in research and develop their own projects. The goal is for them to become future leaders in research in a burgeoning field, such as combining state-of-the-art radiation therapy with other emerging therapies, such as immunotherapy.

10. Success of the CRIS-COVID19 projects: After a year of research, the projects financed thanks to the extraordinary campaign opened during the worst health crisis in our history have achieved important results: Data of enormous clinical importance to understand how and why some patients are at higher risk, publications in international scientific journals or even the creation (by Dr. Antonio Pérez’s team) of a very promising therapy based on a therapy against childhood cancer. This therapy is already in Phase II clinical trials. One more proof that research saves lives.

11. Creation of the most advanced cellular therapies in the CRIS Units: The CRIS Units are leading the creation of next-generation cellular therapies, and they are doing so in the public hospitals themselves. An example of this is the CRIS Unit for Research and Advanced Therapies at Hospital La Paz, where Dr. Antonio Pérez’s team already treated two children with relapsed tumors with a totally personalized therapy, a twist on the already revolutionary CAR -T. On the other hand, the CRIS Hematological Tumors Unit of the October 12 hospital is developing a new generation of cell therapies based on Natural Killer cells, with the aim of creating highly effective, safe and universal therapies.

12. CRIS Units change and improve clinical practice: The objective of any research project is to cure patients and improve their treatment and follow-up. Many of the projects of the CRIS Units are having an impact on the management of patients. The most recent example is a study in which the CRIS Hematological Tumors Unit led by Dr. Joaquín Martínez at Hospital 12 de Octubre has participated, which will play a very important role in the approval of CAR-T therapies for treat follicular lymphoma, a type of tumor that currently does not have adequate therapies. Another key example is the different prostate cancer researchers supported by CRIS (Dr. Elena Castro, Dr. David Olmos, Dr. Joaquín Mateo) whose contributions were fundamental for the approval of treatments for aggressive prostate cancer that today they are saving many lives.

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