Dr. Rafael Rosell presents at the Karolinska Institute, home of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine

Barcelona February 24, 2017 - The prestigious Karolinska Institute has invited Dr. Rafael Rosell, Medical Director and President of the Dr. Rosell Oncology Institute (IOR), to participate in the Frontiers in Cancer Research conference due to his numerous contributions to medical and translational oncology. The Karolinska Institute is one of the most prestigious medical centers in Europe and hosts the Nobel Committee responsible for awarding the Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The conference, which takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, between 23 and 24 February 2017, features high-quality presentations and oncologists from around the world. Dr. Rosell will present the results of basic research into genetic alterations that cause resistance to treatments and disease progression in lung cancer.

Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has changed dramatically since the discovery in 2004 that mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene cause lung cancer in some patients. Screening to detect mutations in EGFR can now determine which patients are most likely to benefit from targeted drugs such as Tarceva. However, only 5% of patients treated with this drug achieve a reduction of more than 90% of the tumor, with a mean progression-free survival of less than one year. In his presentation, Dr. Rosell will explain some of the causes of these worrying survival rates.

Although global survival in lung cancer has improved slightly, survival rates are still well below those achieved in breast, prostate or colon cancer. This is due in part to the fact that only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed in the early stages when the tumor is still operable in situ and cancer cells have not yet spread to other parts of the body. In addition, despite advances in recent years with the use of drugs targeted against specific genetic alterations that drive tumor growth, lung cancer remains one of the most difficult cancers to treat. Therefore, the researchers at IOR focus on advancing the knowledge of such genetic alterations and the causes of drug resistance. Fortunately, lung cancer is one of the tumors with the highest number of known genomic alterations whose identification allows for personalization of treatment and improvements in outlook and survival.


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