The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded one of its prestigious Advanced Grants to the Director of the Experimental Oncology Group of the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), researcher Mariano Barbacid.
The ERC-Advanced Grant project, titled THERACAN (Novel THErapeutic strategies to treat pancreatic and lung CANcer), will run for 60 months. This is one of the two projects presented by Spanish researchers funded in the 2015 call by the ERC in the area of Biomedicine.
Lung cancer and pancreatic ductal carcinoma are two tumour types for which progress has been limited in the clinical setting. Only about 4% of the patients with pancreatic ductal carcinoma survive five years after their diagnosis; the prevention, early diagnosis or treatment of this type of tumour has not significantly improved over the last two decades.
The same is known to occur in the case of lung cancer, which is the main cause of death from cancer worldwide —a record that is mostly attributable to smoking—. K-RAS oncogene-driven lung cancer is among the worst lung cancer types in terms of survival; the 5-year survival rates are below 10%.