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Snapshot of the press conference at Barcelona Science Park , presenting the #MetastasisChallenge (Photo: IRB Barcelona).

IRB Barcelona calls society to action in the fight against metastasis

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has launched the #MetastasisChallenge campaign, with the aim to call society to action in the fight against metastasis. The centre, based in the Barcelona Science Park, seeks to rally social support of research into metastasis, which is responsible for 90% of deaths from cancer.


Through the campaign called #MetastasisChallenge, the IRB Barcelona aims to raise €5 M over the next four years to accelerate research, recruit new talent, purchase cutting-edge technology and equip new laboratories, such as a metastasis research unit.

“It’s time to step on the accelerator. We are calling citizens, institutions and companies to get involved in research so that we can speed up advances. These resources will allow us to make a qualitative leap to drive clinical research and to achieve new treatmen”, said Francesc Posas, director of IRB Barcelona.

The engagement of society is crucial to speed up research. In this regard, IRB Barcelona has set up the web page, through which to receive donations and testimonies, and highlight outreach activities and institutions that support the campaign. Many individuals have already contributed to the campaign through initiatives such as Vi per Vida (Wine for Life) and Nadar Contra Corriente (Swimming against the Current). Furthermore, support has been received from companies and institutions such as Sysmex and the Fundación Fero, and last year the Institute received a bequest of €1.5 M.

The incidence of cancer is rising. According to the Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica (SEOM), one in every 2 men and 1 in every 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetime. In spite of the significant breakthroughs made, cancer continues to be the main cause of death among men and the second cause among women. 

Metastasis describes the process by which a tumour that starts in a certain organ (primary tumour) spreads to distant organs, and it is the main cause of death from cancer. Fundamental research is therefore critical in tackling the challenges posed by metastasis.

“Metastasis is what makes cancer a problem. This is why we should all get involved with speeding up research to achieve a real impact,” said ICREA researcher Eduard Batlle, coordinator of the Cancer Programme at IRB Barcelona.

IRB Barcelona is a leading centre in metastasis research in Europe. In the last decade, its scientists have made significant contributions to advancing our understanding of this process and to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of metastasis. The research done at IRB Barcelona is multidisciplinary and the scientists at the centre are in contact with the main hospitals of reference in Catalonia and pharmaceutical companies.

► More information: IRB Barcelona website [+]