Proteins bound to DNA impair Nucleotide Excision Repair

Congratulations to Núria López-Bigas at the GRIB (UPF-IMIM) for her lab’s latest paper in Nature describing why there’s an increased mutation rate in Transcription Factor Binding Sites (TFBS) in melanomas and lung tumors!!!! You can read more about the experience publishing this paper in this post from her lab’s blog, where she explains how, after a long process of reviewing, they felt they “had the responsibility to describe our finding as soon as possible to the community”, and decided to publish the manuscript in bioRxiv. Later on, the paper was accepted and published by Nature. Here’s for this success story! You can read the paper … Continue reading Proteins bound to DNA impair Nucleotide Excision Repair

European Code Against Cancer. 12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

Manolis Kogevinas, Codirector of CREAL, one of the centres within the PRBB, has written this post recently in the “Health is Global” blog about how external factors play a major role in most cancers. He also talks about the new edition of the European Code Against Cancer, published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)  and addressed to all European citizens. If you want to know more about the European Code against Cancer and the workings behind it, you can read the interview to Joachim Schüz, head of the environment and radiation section at the IARC and one of the principal … Continue reading European Code Against Cancer. 12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

In-silico selection of targeted anti-cancer therapies

The Biomedical Genomics group led by Núria López-Bigas at the Pompeu Fabra Unviersity have recently published a paper in Cancer Cell describing the landscape of anti-cancer targeted therapeutic opportunities across a cohort of patients of twenty eight of the most prevalent cancers. They first looked for all the driver mutations (mutations that ’cause’ the cancer) for each individual cancer, then collected information on all the existing therapeutic agents that target those mutations, and finally, combining both datasets, came up with anti-cancer targeted drugs that could potentially benefit each patient. You can read more about this paper on their blog post. Coinciding with the publication of that paper, the … Continue reading In-silico selection of targeted anti-cancer therapies

“Cancer prevention requires the vision, courage, and political leadership to make long term decisions”

Christopher Wild has been the Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), since 2009. Married to a neuroscientist and father of three, this epidemiologist and Man United fan came to the PRBB in March to give the 3rd Global Health session co-organised by ISGlobal, CRESIB, and CREAL. How has the burden of cancer changed over recent years? The incidence of cancer globally has increased: there were 14 million new cases in 2012 and it is expected we will reach 24 million new cases by 2035. Also, about 70% … Continue reading “Cancer prevention requires the vision, courage, and political leadership to make long term decisions”

Global cancer control: an interdisciplinary approach to prevention

The director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Christopher Wild, celebrated his birthday in style this year. On that special day, February 21, he gave a talk to a full auditorium at the PRBB, in what was the 3rd Global Health session co-organised by ISGlobal, CRESIB and CREAL. This was his second visit to the park, the first one being six years ago, when the building was pretty much empty. “It’s great to see how now everything is thriving!”, he said. Wild started pointing out the three aims of the IARC, the cancer agency of the World … Continue reading Global cancer control: an interdisciplinary approach to prevention

El·lipse: Last edition of 2013!

The 2nd CEXS-UPF Symposium on Evolutionary Biology that took place in November at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) opens this edition of El·lipse, the park’s monthly newspaper. Also on the topic of evolution, Salvador Carranza (IBE) tells us about his research on reptile phylogeny. Other news include new findings on senescence and embryo development, lung cancer diagnosis, ‘mini-kidneys’ created from human stem cells, the benefits of long-term breastfeeding, new molecules involved in metastasis or computational models to decipher biological problems. On a more personal note, Baldomero Oliva (UPF) tells us about his scientific career and the secret to become … Continue reading El·lipse: Last edition of 2013!

Therapeutic virus-like particle- based vaccines against cervical cancer

Cervical cancer represents the second most frequent gynecological malignancy in the world. It is caused by a persistent virus infection by the high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) but no cervical cancer vaccine has been marketed to date. In a paper published in PLoS, Juan Martin Caballero, director of the PRBB animal facility, together with colleagues from a pharmaceutical company have generated a virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccine to treat this cancer and have tested it in humanized transgenic mice. The researchers took a long C-terminal fragment of the HPV-16 E7 protein – one of the two viral proteins necessary for induction and maintenance of malignant transformation – … Continue reading Therapeutic virus-like particle- based vaccines against cervical cancer

Improving the prediction of cancer causing mutations

Cancer is generally caused by a combination of many specific mutations, called drivers. But cancer cells contain many other mutations that are not the cause of the cancer, but rather a consequence (passenger mutations). Also, high-throughput genome projects are identifying a huge number of somatic variants. Which ones are cancer-causing? How to distinguish the needle in the haystack? A new computational method recently published in Genome Medicine by the research group led by Núria López-Bigas at the GRIB (UPF-IMIM), can help. Called transformed Functional Impact Score for Cancer (transFIC), it improves the assessment of the functional impact of tumor nonsynonymous … Continue reading Improving the prediction of cancer causing mutations

Notch in normal and leukemic cells

Anna Bigas and Lluís Espinosa, of the Stem Cell and Cancer group of the IMIM are two principal investigators who have joined forces to investigate different aspects of cancer development. Together with their jointed group of 14 researchers, Bigas focuses on hematopoietic stem cells, while Espinosa concentrates on solid cancer and intestinal stem cells. Bigas aims to understand how a pluripotent stem cell becomes a hematopoietic stem cell during embryogenesis. `It is a great challenge in the regenerative medicine field to understand where these stem cells come from and how they conserve this self- renewing capacity which enables them to … Continue reading Notch in normal and leukemic cells