INCLIVA y el Hospital Clínico show progress in research on head and neck cancer

Professionals from the INCLIVA Health Research Institute and the Hospital Clínico de Valencia have held a meeting with patients and patient associations this morning to show the current situation and the latest advances in head and neck cancer research and treatment and firsthand knowledge sus inquietudes y aclarar sus dudas en torno a esta patología.

Head and neck cancer is the seventh most common type of cancer in the world. In Spain they diagnose 13,000 to 15,000 nuevos casos cada año. Incluye el cáncer de diferentes localizations de la cabeza y el cuello (como la cavidad oral, la laringe o la pharynge), que deriva, en su major parte, de las scamosas cells que revisten las mucosas. Los dos factores de riesgo más importantes son el tabaco y el alcohol. Algunos cánceres, sobre todo de cavidad oral y oropharynge, se relacionan con la infección por el humano papilloma virus.

El cáncer de cabeza y cuello puede tener un alto impacto en la calidad de vida de los pacientes y, en algunos casos, encuentra poca respuesta a los tratamientos. There is, however, a need to identify biomarkers and develop new therapies, with an emerging role in immunotherapy.

Precisely, in the day celebrated in INCLIVA, under the coordination of doctors Clara Alfaro and Delfina Dualde, they have approached in a divulgative way the innovations in the investigation of diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers of head and neck cancer. The investigators of INCLIVA and the doctors of the Hospital Clínico Antonio Ferrández, Clara Alfaro and Begoña Heras, of the Service of Anatomía Patológica, have intervened; Gema Bruixola, de Oncología; Miguel Puche, Maxillofacial Surgery; y Delfina Dualde, de Radiodiagnóstico; as well as Anna Nogué, biomedical engineer of QUIBIM, a company specialized in the processing of radiological medical images.

In the meeting, he explained the line of research currently being developed in INCLIVA for the identification of biomarkers in patients with squamous carcinoma of the head and neck, through a multidisciplinary study involving specialists in Pathological Anatomy, Oncology and Radiodiagnostics . The development of radiological image biomarkers was realized in collaboration with QUIBIM and the extraction of image biomarkers and the analysis of digital pathology, with the Biomedical Image Research Group (GIBI230) of Hospital La Fe. The study also includes molecular characterization through mass sequencing techniques in tumor samples and liquid biopsy in samples collected through the Biobank and the Precision Medicine Unit of INCLIVA.

La Dra. Clara Alfaro, from the Colorectal Cancer Research Group and new therapeutic developments in solid tumors of INCLIVA, explained the research project on the tumoral microenvironment that she led, financed by the Conselleria d’Innovación, Universitats, Ciència i Societat Digital. In the project -which is based on the interaction between tumoral cells and the tumoral microenvironment and its influence on aggressiveness and resistance to cancer treatment-, they analyze the cells of the immune system and other characteristics of head tumor samples and neck with the objective of identifying new biomarkers.

About research on patients and patients on research

Los encuentros con pacientes constituyen para INCLIVA un clave elemento para situarse en el lugar de quienes paquen la enfermedad y conocer de primera mano su percepción e inquietudes y trasladarlas después a los laboratorios, generating a bidirectional flow.

In today’s meeting, head and neck cancer patients and members of the Carlet local council of the Spanish Association Against Cancer participated.

This type of action with patients enmarcan en los objetivos de INCLIVA en Investigación e Innovación Responsable (RRI, por sus siglas en inglés: Responsible Research and Innovation), a través de la que se persigue que la ciencia sea cada vez más abierta, inclusiva , transparent y collaborativa y se reduzca la brecha entre el amíto científico y la sociedad. La RRI se basa en seis principios: scientific education, gender equality, open access, governance, ethics and citizen participation. With respect to the greater citizen participation in science, the RRI tries to promote that every time more actors are involved in the research process, from its beginnings, pasando por su desarrollo, hasta la consecución de results, impulsando the call “citizen science” .

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