2017 April 4

Agreement between the IJC-IGTP-ICO: an essential step for research into leukaemia at the Can Ruti campus

The Germans Trias i Pujol Institute on Health Sciences Foundation (IGTP), the Catalan Institute for Oncology (ICO) and the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC) have signed a collaboration agreement to promote scientific research into leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases

  • The agreement creates a strategic alliance between the three institutions to promote joint scientific research in the field of leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases.
  • The alliance will make it possible to bring together the large number of cases and samples that are necessary to produce relevant, high-quality studies. It also integrates the staff at the three institutions in order to carry out global and interdisciplinary research projects. In all, the agreement brings together more than a hundred staff members.
  • The agreement establishes the conditions under which research programmes at the Can Ruti campus in Badalona will be carried out, it complements the agreement already signed with Hospital Clínic and the University of Barcelona, and will be followed by another agreement with Hospital de Sant Pau.

The Catalan Institute for Oncology (ICO), the Germans Trias i Pujol Institute on Health Sciences Foundation (IGTP), and the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC) have signed a collaboration agreement to promote global and interdisciplinary research projects into leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases. This is a great step forward for leukaemia research since it will enable the various teams at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute to have access to a large volume of samples, and it will provide them with the opportunity to cooperate with doctors treating patients in order to make the benefits of research more widely available in all its phases: clinical, translational and basic. At the same time, clinicians will be able to benefit from the extremely specialised work of more basic researchers, such as biologists and biochemists, in order to perfect the therapies they administer.

At the present time, the ICO is the standard bearer for cancer treatment for more than 45% of the adult population of Catalonia. It receives almost 5,000 new patients for leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases every year and is responsible for the treatment of 16,000 patients at various phases of treatment.

In order to carry out high-quality research, and produce results on all the subtypes of oncohematological diseases, not just the most prevalent ones, it is essential to have access to a large quantity of patient samples. One of the aims is to obtain a greater volume of analysis as well as to achieve higher quality of research.

Leukaemia and lymphomas are relatively frequent forms of cancer in adults and they affect approximately 5,000 and 7,000 people respectively every year in Spain. There are dozens of different leukaemia subtypes and there are more than 30 kinds of lymphoma subtype. This means that some of these diseases are very rare diseases and this makes it even more difficult for research, unless a sufficiently large number of samples can be obtained.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Manel Puig, scientific director at the IGTP, Dr. Candela Calle, director general of the ICO, and professor Evarist Feliu, scientific director of the IJC. According to professor Evarist Feliu of the IJC, this agreement, “Provides a new impetus for the important scientific research that is being conducted at the three institutions. At the IJC we are making progress every day in the study of leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases and this alliance will help us to join forces in the development of clinical, translational and basic research projects".

The agreement also shows the team spirit that exists in Catalonia in the field of research into malignant blood diseases, and this is a guarantee for the future of such research. Catalonia has many outstanding hospitals for the treatment of these diseases, amongst the most important of them are the hospitals comprising the ICO hospital network (ICO Hospitalet, ICO Badalona, ICO Girona and ICO Tarragona and Terres de l’Ebre). For the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, therefore, having the ICO as a strategic partner is of vital importance, the IJC itself, exclusively devoted to the fight against these diseases, being a major world standard bearer in this field.

This collaboration agreement also establishes an appropriate framework for clinical trials in pursuit, fundamentally, of two aims: to contribute to the improvement of cancer treatment, and to provide patients with the best therapeutic alternatives through the evaluation of new treatment strategies.

Leukaemia

Every year in Spain there are some 5,000 new cases of leukaemia. Other malignant blood diseases such as lymphomas and multiple myeloma affect 7,000 and 2,000 new patients every year in our country. Leukaemia is the most frequent childhood cancer, accounting for 30% of all childhood cancers.

Leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases represent one of the most important challenges in the study and treatment of cancers affecting the human species. In fact, they have been, and continue to be, a model of curable cancers. It is not surprising, therefore, that the two cancers that we are currently able to cure for a large proportion of patients are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (LLA) in children, and Hodgkin lymphoma.

The Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC)

The Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC), a Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) CERCA research centre, was founded in 2010 in collaboration with the Catalan government with the aim of strengthening biomedical research and personalised medicine in the field of leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases. The Institute is unprecedented and it brings together the endeavours and professional rigour of world-class basic and clinical researchers. It employs the most innovative technologies, cooperates on many multi-centre projects and competes successfully both at home and abroad. Its scientific output, already very considerable in volume and of great importance, is published in the most prestigious journals.

During this year 2017 will inaugurate the new building of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute in the ICO/Germans Trias i Pujol Campus (Campus Can Ruti). Its 7,000 m2 will be devoted to leukaemia research.

The IJC has three independent but coordinated scientific campuses:

  • The University of Barcelona Hospital Clínic Campus, located at the facilities of the University of Barcelona Faculty of Medicine and those of the Hospital Clínic, Barcelona.
  • The Catalan Institute of Oncology/Germans Trias i Pujol Campus, located near the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Badalona and its Research Foundation, and at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) Germans Trias i Pujol Teaching Department.
  • The Sant Pau Campus, located near the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona, the UAB Faculty of Medicine and the Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute.


The Germans Trias i Pujol Institute on Health Sciences

(IGTP)The Germans Trias i Pujol Institute on Health Sciences (IGTP) is a public research centre located in Badalona (El Barcelonès), the main aim of which is to increase scientific knowledge, and then apply that knowledge to improving the health care provided to patients and the community at large.

The Institute is associated with the Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (HUGTP), one of the large teaching hospitals in the Barcelona area, and it forms part of the Can Ruti biomedical campus. It is also a CERCA research centre and Biocluster member, with the support and supervision of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia). It is also accredited as a centre of excellence by the Carlos III Institute and is in charge of coordinating the campus's scientific research, working in close collaboration with other centres located there. Scientists working in the field of research publish an average of 500 articles per year, contribute with improved health protocols and new treatments, register patents and create spin-off companies to improve the lives of patients.

The Catalan Institute for Oncology (ICO)

The Catalan Institute for Oncology is a public centre of excellence for cancer. It has an integrated approach to the disease bringing together, within the same organisation, health care, research, specialised training, and prevention. 

It is a public company, created in 1995 by the Catalan Government Ministry of Health. It commenced its activities at the facilities of the Hospital Duran i Reynals in l'Hospitalet de Llobregat. In 2002 the ICO opened in Girona, at the Hospital Doctor Josep Trueta and, a year later, in Badalona, at the Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol. In 2014 ICO opened in Camp de Tarragona and Terres de l'Ebre at the Hospital Joan XXIII, in Tarragona and the Hospital Verge de la Cinta, in Tortosa.

Furthermore, the ICO works together with twenty other hospitals. The aim of the network is to bring specialists to the patient and to ensure that patients receive equivalent levels of health care regardless of their location.

For more information:
www.ico.gencat.cat
www.germanstrias.org
www.carrerasresearch.org