The Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC), has given 3.1M euros, within the international grants program ACCELERATOR, to support three research projects on rare cancers. One of these projects is PREDICT-Meso, in which participates as co-principal investigator Manel Esteller, leader of the Cancer Epigenetics group and director of the Josep Carreras Institute.
The objectives of the PREDICT-Meso project is to study the development and validate therapeutic approaches in mesothelioma, a tumor that occurs in the pleura or light tissue that covers the lungs. One of the causes of this type of cancer is exposure to asbestos, a material usually used in the past in the construction sector that, despite having been removed and no longer being used, is responsible for new cases of this disease due to past exposure.
Manel Esteller's group will investigate what the main molecular processes involved in the generation of these tumors and the ways to identify this type of cancer in the early stages of its development are. To meet these objectives, researchers will make multiple analyses on tissues and develop methods to study not only how these tumors are and how they form, but how they respond to different types of treatment.
"In Spain, more than 40,000 new cases of rare cancers are diagnosed every year, rare tumors that appear in 6 out of every 100,000 people or less, of which there are around 200 different types. Rare diseases have in common, apart from the low incidence, the little research carried out. In the specific case of rare tumors, we must add that their survival is lower than the rest of the most prevalent tumors, which is why it is necessary to promote international research and thus make faster progress in identifying new therapeutic options", says the AECC, that promotes the ACCELERATOR grants in collaboration with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Fondazione AIRC per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC).