2021 November 18

New strategies in the fight against leukemia at the Science Week 2021

Researchers from the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute participate in a round table to discuss some of the latest strategies moving from the laboratory to bedside to improve the diagnosis and treatment of leukemia and other blood diseases.

Last Tuesday, November 16, during the Science Week 2021, the headquarters of the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRi) became, for a while, a space for dialogue between citizenship and science. Honoring their commitment to outreach, researchers at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC) Pamela Acha, Iris Uribesalgo and Néstor Tirado explained how their daily work translate into new ways of attacking leukemia and other malignant hematological diseases.

The debate began with a brief update on the basics of how a cell works by IJC disseminators, and continued with a presentation by Dr. Pamela Acha, member of the Myelodysplastic Syndromes group, on how genome sequencing allows the classification of tumors and patients. This knowledge allows the most effective drug to be administered directly to each patient, saving time in the treatment process.

Next, Dra. Iris Uribesalgo, from the Chromatin, metabolism and cell fate group, went a step further to explain how they want to detect and eliminate the first cells of a tumor, long before it develops, to intercept its formation. The INTERCEPT project, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Dr. Marcus Buschbeck, brings together a dozen participants from across Europe who will use single cell analysis technology to achieve this.

Finally, Néstor Tirado, from the Stem Cell, Developmental Leukemia and Immunotherapy group, introduced us to the new CAR-T therapies, which use modified lymphocytes in the laboratory to fight hematologic cancers. This new technology, which is yelding very good results and already has products on the market, generated a lot of debate and interest among attendees.

The Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, as a CERCA public center, maintains its commitment to dissemination and does not miss any opportunity to go out and explain that, in the face of leukemia, we will endure until there’s a cure.