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News

  • 10/07/2019 - Press release

    Mechanism determined for treating the most aggressive tumours

    A study led by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), has determined, for the first time, the importance of a cell mechanism that may be key to treating metastatic tumours. The work has demonstrated the role a protein, kinase IKKα, plays in the ability of tumour cells to repair themselves. This is a key factor in treatment resistance and tumour spread. The research has been published in the journal Molecular Cell. The researchers analysed the role of this protein, activated by mutations of the BRAF and KRAS oncogenes, present in the majority of the most aggressive tumours. The function of this protein is to facilitate DNA-repair in tumour cells after they have been damaged by chemotherapy, making them more resistant to the action of these drugs. This is key for the treatment approach, since this new study demonstrates, conclusively, that combining a BRAF oncogene inhibitor with chemotherapy deactivates and kills the tumour.

    Més informació "Mechanism determined for treating the most aggressive tumours"

  • 28/06/2019 - Press release

    Possible marker of treatment resistance in HER2 breast cancer identified

    The ageing of NK lymphocytes circulating in the blood of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer is a marker that can predict the success or failure of monoclonal antibody therapies, which act on a specific factor in tumour cells.  This is the conclusion of a study led by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Pompeu Fabra University, and doctors from the Hospital del Mar, published in the journal Cancer Immunology Research. The study also involved staff from the Medical Oncology Service at Hospital Clínic in Valencia, the Pathological Anatomy Services at Hospital del Mar, Fundación Jiménez Díaz in Madrid, and the Immunogenetics Service at Puerta de Hierro University Institute, also in Madrid. It involved analysing blood samples from 66 patients, immunogenetic and functional studies of the NK lymphocytes of these patients, as well as analysing tumour biopsies. The ageing of these cells was measured by quantifying the NK lymphocytes in the blood that express the CD57 molecule. The results show that patients with high blood counts at the time of diagnosis are more likely to be resistant to chemotherapy and anti-HER2 antibody treatment. 

    Més informació "Possible marker of treatment resistance in HER2 breast cancer identified"

  • 19/06/2019 - Press release

    Joint Hypermobility Related to Anxiety, Also in Animals

    Researchers from the UAB and the IMIM published in Scientific Reports the first evidence in a non-human species, the domestic dog, of a relation between joint hypermobility and excitability: dogs with more joint mobility and flexibility tend to have more anxiety problems. The relation between collagen laxity and anxiety in humans is widely known, but this relation has never been observed before in other species. A team of researchers led by professors Jaume Fatjó and Antoni Bulbena from the Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine at the UAB, the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the UAB Affinity Foundation Chair in Animals and Health, analysed a set of 13 animal behaviour characteristics and hip joint mobility in a total of 5575 domestic dogs. The results point to an association between hip joint hypermobility and a brain activation linked to emotions in dogs, with similar results as to those observed in people.

    Més informació "Joint Hypermobility Related to Anxiety, Also in Animals"

  • 04/04/2019 - Press release

    Paradigm shift in how bone fractures are avoided in HIV patients

    Doctors and researchers at Hospital del Mar and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have shown, for the first time, that osteoporosis and bone fractures in HIV sufferers is caused by the body's response to the presence of the virus, in the form of inflammatory processes, and not only the antiretroviral treatment, as was previously believed. The study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, used a bone-quality measuring technique designed in the United States in collaboration with staff from Hospital del Mar, together with a protocol developed by the same people, which shows that the risk of fractures is related to the inflammation caused by the chronic infection. This represents a change in how this problem is conceived, as well as how it is approached. The study involved staff from the Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine services at Hospital del Mar, as well as members of the IMIM's Musculoskeletal Research Group. Dr. Todd T. Brown, from Johns Hopkins University, in the United States, also participated.

    Més informació "Paradigm shift in how bone fractures are avoided in HIV patients"

  • 03/04/2019 - Press release

    Urban green spaces do not benefit the health of all

    In general, the creation of parks and green spaces in urban centers has positive effects on the health of city residents. However, looking in more detail, only those who belong to the most favored social classes may be benefitting from these spaces. A new article published by a group of researchers from the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) and the Medical Research Institute of the Hospital del Mar (IMIM) shows that, although living in areas with green spaces are associated with better self-perceived health on the part of residents at large, such benefits exclude those with a lower educational level and lower incomes. The progressive "greening" of cities through the creation of green spaces, parks and ecological corridors can have positive effects on the physical and psychological health of people. 

    Més informació "Urban green spaces do not benefit the health of all"

  • 29/10/2018 - Press release

    Discovery of a key protein in tumour metastasis

    The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, shows the pivotal role of the enzyme USP27X in the control of the proliferation, invasion and formation of breast cancer metastasis and opens new pathways to the development of anti-tumour drugs. A team of researchers from the Cancer programme of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), led by Drs Victor M. Diaz, of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and Antonio García de Herreros, of the IMIM, has identified a key enzyme in cancer development called USP27X. 

    Més informació "Discovery of a key protein in tumour metastasis"

  • 19/11/2018 - Press release

    Gene vital for post-stroke recovery identified for the first time

    Having certain specific variants of the PATJ  gene predisposes to worse recovery from ischemic stroke. 7 out of 10 patients with these variants suffer severe sequelae three months after having a stroke, in other words, they are in a situation of dependence, compared to less than half of patients who do not present these variants. This is data from an international, multicentre study coordinated by researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and doctors from the Hospital del Mar, published in the journal Circulation Research. This is the most important research carried out so far in the field of genetics and stroke prognosis, and the first published: it uses data from more than 2,000 patients and involves 12 centres from around the world. The study was carried out thanks to the help of the 2010 edition of La Marató de TV3.

    Més informació "Gene vital for post-stroke recovery identified for the first time"

  • 02/08/2018 - Press release

    Key piece identified for slowing a colorectal cancer subtype

    Inhibiting the Jagged 1 protein in mice prevents the proliferation and growth of colon and rectal tumours. What is more, this approach to the disease permits the removal of existing tumours. This is the conclusion of a study led by the Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer and Stem Cells research group from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), directed by Dr Lluís Espinosa, who is also a member of CIBERONC (the Network Centre for Biomedical Research into Cancer), in collaboration with the Pathological Anatomy and Medical Oncology Units at Hospital del Mar, and the IDIBELL-Catalan Oncology Institute. The work has been published in Nature Communications. The researchers took tumours from patients and then implanted them into mice in order to analyse the role of this protein in cancer cell proliferation. Jagged 1 is essential for cancer cells due to its role in activating the so-called Notch cell-signalling pathway. Generally speaking, Notch inhibits cell differentiation, in other words, a cell's ability to become a mature cell that can no longer proliferate. In the case of colorectal tumours, the activation of this signalling pathway favours their proliferation and growth.

    Més informació "Key piece identified for slowing a colorectal cancer subtype"

  • 11/07/2018 - Press release

    A new computational method for exploring the reuse of drugs

    Researchers led by Emre Guney of the research programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), a joint programme of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), have developed a new computational method to reuse drugs that target biological pathways common to more than one disease. A significant percentage of marketed drugs are not effective in patients due to the complexity of the biological processes involved in diseases and genetic differences between people. Despite recent technological advances, the discovery of new effective treatments takes a long time and continues to be expensive. For this reason, the reuse of medicines, i.e., the use of existing drugs for other diseases, is a very interesting alternative to reduce the costs of drug development.

    Més informació "A new computational method for exploring the reuse of drugs"

  • 19/03/2018 - Press release

    Cognitive function in children with Down's syndrome improved by a compound found in green tea

    Dr. Rafael de la Torre, director of the Neurosciences research programme at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), is leading a clinical trial involving a paediatric population, the aim of which is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a dietary preparation containing epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – a natural compound found in green tea- on improved cognitive development in children, aged 6 to 12, with Down's syndrome, and which will also evaluate its effect on children with Fragile X syndrome. The paediatric clinical trials will take place simultaneously in 5 health centres: Hospital Niño Jesús (Madrid), Instituto Hispalense de Pediatria (Seville), Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla (Santander), Hospital del Mar ( Barcelona), and Institut Jérome Lejeune (Paris).

    Més informació "Cognitive function in children with Down's syndrome improved by a compound found in green tea"

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