«Six new drugs against cancer have been approved thanks to the contribution of the UITM - ”la Caixa”»

Elena Garralda


    ”la Caixa” Molecular Cancer Therapy Research Unit (UITM) of the Vall d’Hebron Institut d’Oncologia (VHIO), was born out of the desire to offer patients innovative therapy with more specific personalised treatments that increase efficacy and reduce toxicity. Specialised in the molecular analysis of tumours and a point of reference in Spain and Europe, our Unit is made up of a wide range of professionals exclusively dedicated to the development of drugs and translational medicine. And that is a privilege in Spain, where research must often be combined with extensive care work. One way of channelling innovation in oncology is through clinical trials, which enable us to offer the most innovative medications to patients earlier and in a more personalised manner, acting as a bridge between laboratories, clinical practice and the patient. To do this, we must be thoroughly familiarised with the tumour of each individual patient in order to offer them the best treatment and have them participate in those trials with the most personalised therapies to transform the course of the disease. Thus, of the drugs approved last year we would highlight entrectinib and larotrectinib for the treatment of metastatic cancer with NTRK fusion. NTRK is a gene, and for the first time we have been able to identify patients who present a fusion in this gene, to offer them treatment which has relatively low toxicity and is very successful. We focus on what alterations the tumour presents, rather than on where it originated, which is a major change in paradigm.


    • Elena Garralda
      Director of ”la Caixa” Molecular Cancer Therapy Research Unit (UITM), Vall d’Hebron Institut d’Oncologia (VHIO), Barcelona