Skip to main content
< Back to news
(Foto: IRB)

The Colorectal Cancer laboratory of IRB Barcelona receives the Gold Medal from the Red Cross

The group, led by ICREA researcher Dr Eduard Batlle, based in the Barcelona Science Park, has been distinguished for the discovery and characterisation of the cells responsible for colon cancer metastases, published last year in Nature. The medal was awarded by Her Majesty Queen Letízia.

Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the world, with about 2 million new cases each year. Most cases are diagnosed when the tumour is still located in the colon or rectum, which is removed by surgery and, in many cases, is treated with chemotherapy to prevent relapses, however, in between 20 to 35% of cases, the cancer reappears in other organs in the form of metastases.

In November, the Colorectal Cancer laboratory of IRB Barcelona published its findings in Nature regarding the discovery of the population of residual tumour cells responsible for the reappearance of cancer in other organs, after the removal of the primary tumour. This research showed that early immunotherapy, prior to surgery, can eliminate these cells before they begin to develop metastases, and thus prevent relapses. This work opened the way to developing new therapeutic approaches and diagnostic tools to slow the progression of the disease and improve its prognosis.

Thanks to this work and its important contribution to research in oncology, the IRB Barcelona Colorectal Cancer laboratory has received the Gold Medal of the Red Cross. “Receiving this recognition is a great honour. In our work, we really identify ourselves with the Red Cross’s principle of Humanity, because we seek to generate knowledge about cancer, in order to provide solutions to patients as well as with the principle of Universality, because this disease affects all countries and all ethnicities, and if one day we were able to cure cancer, it would benefit patients all over the world”, highlights Dr Eduard Batlle, head of the research group, who received the prize on behalf of the team along with Dr Elena Sancho, associate researcher of the laboratory.

The award took place during the celebration of World Red Cross Day in Spain celebrated on 30 May at the Fine Arts Circle in Madrid, at an event chaired by Her Majesty Queen Letízia.

In addition to the IRB Barcelona, the Red Cross has recognised the Ukrainian Red Cross, the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology, the Forest Fire Reinforcement Brigades and the Ethics journal.

» Link to the news article: IRB Barcelona website [+]