IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 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"

  • 06/03/2018 - Press release

    First genetic study of primate hibernation in their natural environment

     The Evolutionary Genomics research group at the IMIM, led by Mar Albà, has just published an article in the journal Molecular Ecology providing the results of a study that has identified which genes participate (change their expression) in the hibernation state of hairy-eared dwarf lemurs, which belong to the only group of primates that has the ability to hibernate. These small mammals store fats in their tails, allowing them to survive the months of shortage, and which they use as fuel during hibernation. Hibernation is a response to the lack of resources we normally associate with winter, but which can occur in other conditions of scarcity, such as in desert areas or, for example, during the dry season in Madagascar. “The genes involved in hibernation are present in almost all mammals, including humans. It is a question of when and how they are expressed that makes the phenomenon of hibernation possible. As they are primates, lemur genes are relatively similar to those in humans, so it is even more interesting to study this species”, explains José Luis Villanueva-Cañas, a researcher from the IMIM's Evolutionary Genomics group.

    Més informació "First genetic study of primate hibernation in their natural environment"

  • 23/01/2018 - Press release

    An international study shows that only 1 in 10 patients with anxiety disorders receives the right treatment

    The director of the Epidemiology and Public Health programme at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) researcher, Jordi Alonso, was commissioned by the World Mental Health to lead an international study into the adequacy of anxiety disorder treatment across the globe. The results, from a sample of more than 51,500 individuals from 21 different countries, reveals that 10% of people suffer anxiety. Of these, only 27.6% have received some type of treatment, and this was considered appropriate in only 9.8% of the cases. It is the first time a study has described the treatment gap in anxiety disorders at an international level. "It is estimated that anxiety disorders affect 10% of the global population. These are pathologies that tend to be chronic, comorbid, and associated with a significant disability. If we add to this the fact that in 2010 they cost a group of 30 European Union countries €74,400 million, it is clear that this is an important public health problem", explains Jordi Alonso.

    Més informació "An international study shows that only 1 in 10 patients with anxiety disorders receives the right treatment"

  • 16/01/2018 - Press release

    Obesity and overweight multiply the risk of suffering cancer and heart disease

    Being overweight or obese exponentially increases the risk of suffering heart disease or cancer. This is the conclusion of the FRESCO (Spanish Risk Function of Coronary and Other Events) study, led by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and doctors from Hospital del Mar, who analysed the follow up of 54,446 people from 7 autonomic communities over a ten-year period. The work involved various research groups from Barcelona, Girona, Reus, Palma de Mallorca, Zaragoza, Murcia, Pamplona, Seville, and Talavera de la Reina. The results of the study are clear. The obesity epidemic has a greater impact on women. In fact, women are 5 five times more likely to suffer a cardiovascular disease, and have 12 times greater risk of developing cancer than those of normal weight, Being overweight, even if this does not reach obesity levels, still involves twice the risk of heart disease and four times the risk of cancer.

    Més informació "Obesity and overweight multiply the risk of suffering cancer and heart disease"

  • 04/12/2017 - Press release

    Genes identified that distinguish mammals from other animals

    What distinguishes Homo sapiens from other living beings? And the group of mammals? What makes them different? These are the questions that researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have been trying to answer, together with the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). To do this, they analysed the already-sequenced genomes of 68 mammals and identified 6,000 families of genes that are only found in these animals. These are genes with no homologues outside mammals, in other words, they are not present in other hairless species. In humans, it is estimated that they represent 2.5% of the genes that code for proteins. The work was led by Dr. José Luis Villanueva-Cañas, a member of the IMIM's Evolutionary Genomics research group, and currently a researcher at the Evolutionary Biology Institute (UPF-CSIC), and Dr. Mar Albà, an ICREA researcher at both the IMIM and the Biomedical Informatics Research Programme (GRIB). The study also involved Dr. David Andreu's group from the UPF's Department of Experimental and Health Sciences. It has been published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.

    Més informació "Genes identified that distinguish mammals from other animals"

  • 03/11/2017 - Press release

    Hospital del Mar of Medical Research Institute involved in the largest international analysis for mapping the bladder cancer genome

    Dr. Joaquim Bellmunt, director of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and Associate Professor at the University of Harvard, at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, is one of the first authors of a new international study that has mapped genome of bladder cancer. As part of the TCGA project (The Cancer Genome Atlas), the researchers have reported their final analysis of 412 tumour samples, providing the most accurate genetic description to date of this type of cancer. This will enable the analysis of new personalised treatment hypotheses for this disease. The study was published in the journal Cell. Dr. Bellmunt has stated that thanks to this work, we now "have a much broader perspective on the different varieties of urinary bladder cancer and its genetic alterations". Even so, the head of the IMIM stresses that "it is necessary to continue researching the best treatments and confirm hypothesised new treatment methods."

    Més informació "Hospital del Mar of Medical Research Institute involved in the largest international analysis for mapping the bladder cancer genome"

  • 13/09/2017 - Press release

    40 Million EUR European project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research.

    The five-year project, Enhancing Translational Safety Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management (eTRANSAFE), aims to develop an advanced data integration infrastructure together with innovative computational methods to improve the security in drug development process and is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI 2) together with the pharmaceutical industry. The eTRANSAFE consortium is a private and public partnership of 8 academic institutions, 6 SMEs and 12 pharmaceutical companies, and is coordinated by the Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) and led by the pharmaceutical company Novartis and Bayer AG. The eTRANSAFE project aims at improving the safety assessment across the drug discovery and development process by applying bioinformatics approaches to shared preclinical and clinical data to systematically analyse the translatability of effects. Thus, enabling the optimisation of resources and the development of safer medicines.

    Més informació "40 Million EUR European project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research."

  • 29/08/2017 - Press release

    Autoimmune diseases increase cardiovascular and mortality risk

    Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and IDIAP Jordi Gol have just published an article showing that autoimmune diseases significantly increase cardiovascular risk as well as overall mortality. This is particularly pronounced in people suffering rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, it has been seen that inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, increase the risk of stroke and death through any cause. The article is published this month in the journal Heart. The 6-year study followed a cohort of nearly 1 million people aged between 35 and 85, with no history of cardiovascular disease. The large sample size allowed the estimation of cardiovascular event incidence and mortality in people diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Some of these diseases are relatively frequent, so their impact is quite significant. It is estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects between 150,000 and 200,000 people in Spain, and somewhere around 100,000 people suffer Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Més informació "Autoimmune diseases increase cardiovascular and mortality risk"

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