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The CNIO reviews the new trends in cancer treatment at an international conference


Help us to eliminate cancer

Researchers and oncologists from all over the world meet to share and review the latest advances in oncology-related immunotherapy, epigenetics, stem cells and personalised medicine

The event will take place from 23 to 25 March in the CNIO, on the occasion of the CNIO Frontiers Meeting ‘New Trends in Anticancer Drug Development’

On the last day, the inaugural lecture will be given by the prestigious researcher, Tak W. Mak, who in the eighties gave a kick-start to modern immunology with the discovery of the TDcell receptor, known as the ‘holy grail’ of this discipline, closely linked to cancer

Since the first CNIO Frontiers Meeting on anticancer drug development, held in 2010 (‘Cancer Pharmacogenetics: Personalising Medicine’), significant progress has been made on the subject, confirming that research aimed at the enhanced care of cancer patients is taking the right direction. With the aim of updating the latest developments in this field, the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has announced its second edition (‘New Trends in Anticancer Drug Development’), which will be held at CNIO, Madrid, from 23 to 25 March.

“During these three intensive days, the most promising lines of research into cancer treatment and their progress, together with those relating to immunotherapy, epigenetics, stem cells and new advances with promising therapeutic targets  will be summarised,” explains  Manuel Hidalgo, director  of  the  CNIO  Clinical  Research  Programme  and  the  congress’ organizer, in collaboration with Josep Tabernero, director of the Vall d’Hebron Oncology Institute (VHIO); Alberto Bardelli, professor of Molecular Oncology at the Candiolo Cancer Institute (IRCCS) in Italy; and Lillian Siu, director of the Phase I Program of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre of Canada.


Each day’s key note lecture will be given by well-known personalities from the field of cancer research:

William Pao has been leading Roche’s Oncology Discovery & Translational Area since May 2014 and has developed an innovative translational research programme in molecular oncology. The subject of his key note lecture, which will open the conference on 23 March, is “Targeted Therapies: Patient Selection and Mechanisms of Resistance”.

Drew Pardoll of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (USA), whose research encompasses such areas as oncology vaccines, gene therapies, and cancer prevention technologies, will give the key note lecture on 24 March on “Harnessing the Immune System to Treat Cancer”.

The last day’s key note lecture, “Exploiting Cancer Metabolic Vulnerabilities”, will be given by Tak W. Mak, the famous researcher who, in the eighties, gave a kick-start to modern immunology with the discovery of the T]cell receptor, known as the ‘holy grail’ of this discipline. During his career, Mak has published more than 700 scientific articles, has been quoted more than 65,000 times in high-impact scientific journals and has received important international awards. His discoveries have been crucial to the understanding of the immune system, not to mention his contributions to cancer, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, heart diseases and HIV/AIDS.


Cancer is the main cause of death all over the world. According to data published by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012 there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths worldwide associated with this disease. The data for 2014 indicate that in Spain the most frequent cancers in men and women are of the trachea, bronchi and lungs, colorectal  cancer,  and  prostate  and  breast  cancer.  The  factors  that

contribute most to increasing cancer survival are early diagnosis and the continuous improvement of treatments.

Immunotherapy stands out as one of the most promising oncology milestones in recent years. Several researches suggest that these therapies, which work on the immune system of the body itself, produce durable and safe responses in patients with melanoma, lung cancer and kidney cancer. On the other hand, the so-called personalized therapies are explored: the new drugs are designed to combat specific alterations and their clinical development is addressed to the patients who suffer from them.

At the same time, ‘co-clinical trials’ are being consolidated. This is a new type of trial in which research is carried out simultaneously with patients and animals with the same type of tumour into the efficacy of drugs aimed at specific genetic mutations. This strategy allows the results obtained with animals to be used to predict patients’ response to these drugs.

Full programme:  http://www.cnio.es/eventos/index.asp?ev=1&cev=115

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