Olga Torres Foundation awards grant to IRB Barcelona

By January 24, 2017IRB Barcelona

ICREA researcher and group leader of the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, Eduard Batlle, has been awarded the biannual Olga Torres Foundation (FOT) grant for the study of colorectal cancer. Batlle’s project, “Evaluating immunotherapies in a preclinical model of metastatic colorectal cancer”, has obtained one of the 60,000-€ grants given by this organization in late 2016 and will be undertaken during 2017 and 2018.

The main aim of the project is to exploit a novel model system of advanced colorectal cancer developed in-house, in order to understand the interactions between immune cells and colorectal cancer cells and to test the effectiveness of immunotherapies to treat metastatic disease in advanced colorectal cancer.

A promising strategy: the immunotherapy

“Around 1 in every 20 people will develop colorectal cancer in western countries, and it is estimated that this year this disease will cause more than 700,000 deaths worldwide,” explains the researcher.

Eduard Batlle highlights that the vast majority of these deaths will occur due to the spread of the disease to secondary organs, a process known as metastasis. And he adds, “therapeutic approaches such as systemic chemotherapy do not cure metastatic disease. Therefore, there is an unmet need for novel strategies to target colorectal cancer at advance stages. Immunotherapies are among the most promising strategies to treat late-stage cancers”.

Last May, in the conference series Ciencia After Work a la Pedrera, Batlle also acknowledged that one of the great hopes is for immunotherapy to unleash the potential of the immune system to recognise and attack specific tumour cells and that this strategy has considerable advantages over other therapies.

More information on the IRB Barcelona website.