Batlle, coordinator of the Oncology Programme at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA research professor, is awarded the 2016 Carmen and Severo Ochoa Prize for his work on colon cancer. Presented by the Fundación Carmen and Severo Ochoa since 1995, these awards recognise molecular biology research undertaken by scientists in Spain. Former winners include some of the best researchers in the country.
The prize acknowledges Eduard Batlle’s (Barcelona, 1970) contributions to understanding the behaviour of colon tumours and how these tumours become more aggressive, to the point of gaining the capacity to develop metastases, mainly in the liver and lung. Batlle has made numerous contributions to this field, among them the characterization of colorectal stem cells and the fundamental role played by the tumour environment in determining the metastatic capacity of tumour cells. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women worldwide. This disease registers 32,000 new cases a year in Spain, making it the most common cancer in this country.
The ultimate goal of the lab is to obtain information that allows the design of new therapeutic and diagnostic tools. Regarding the latter and with the support of the Botín Foundation, the lab is developing a new test called Colostage to identify those patients at risk of developing metastasis. This tool will help physicians to decide on the best treatments for patients on the basis of this risk.
More information at IRB Barcelona website.