RAISING SCIENTIFIC AWARENESS
To mark World Multiple Myeloma Day, held on 5 September, the Josep Carreras Foundation released an awareness-raising video about this malignant blood disease, the treatment for which has been revolutionised over the last fifteen years. Our IJC colleagues Dr. Albert Oriol, Paula Gómez and Joan Estrems, a multiple myeloma patient, all appear in the video. View video (in Spanish).
World Lymphoma Day is held on 15 September every year, a significant date given that lymphomas are, by far, the most common kind of blood cancer. It is estimated that every year in Spain there are 7,000 new cases. We have also made an awareness-raising video about this and appearing in it are our IJC colleagues Dr. Tomàs Navarro and Dr. Maria Joao Baptista together with Clàudia Nogués, a Hodgkin’s lymphoma patient. View video (in Spanish).
JOSEP CARRERAS LEUKAEMIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Josep Carreras visits the works at the ICO/Germans Trias i Pujol Campus of the IJC
Mr. Carreras, who presides our Foundation and Research Institute, has paid another visit to the work taking place on the IJC's ICO-GTiP Campus. On this occasion he was accompanied by Prof. Ciril Rozman, the former vice president of the Foundation and honorary member.
Leukos Biotech, a biotechnical company established by the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute and Dr. Ruth M. Risueño, will develop a new class of drug that will selectively target and destroy leukaemic stem cells. You can read the news here.
International MDS project
The IJC's myelodysplastic syndromes research group, led by Dr. Francesc Solé, has recently published a paper entitled, "Cytopenia levels for aiding establishment of the diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes" in the journal Blood. This is a project by the international MDS group and the International Working Group for the Prognosis of MDS (IWG-PM - MDS Foundation), which is based on the analysis of more than 6,000 registered MDS patients and which is aimed at better defining the levels of cytopenia, that is to say the number of leukocytes, haemoglobins and platelets, that have prognostic value. The Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R) has established cut-off levels, and these have been reviewed by the work group itself to improve the accuracy of prognoses for patients with MDS. Dr. Francesc Solé took part in the review and has participated in this current work.
ICREA-FIJC Scientific Meeting
Dr. Pablo Menéndez has assigned one of the three €20,000 awards from the Generalitat de Catalunya ICREA grants to the organisation of a Congress with the Josep Carreras Foundation in Barcelona, to be held on 6 and 7 March next year. The initiative will bring together leading international figures to discuss clinical ways of responding to the fact that tumours follow a Darwinian path, meaning that within the same tumour there are different subclones with different genetic charges. Patients must therefore be categorised and the minimal residual disease analysed in a different way. Intratumoural heterogeneity is the fundamental reason why cancer can't be cured only with monotherapy. Current information.
23rd Symposium of the Japanese Society for Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy
Dr. Fumiichiro Yamamoto, head of the Immunohematology and Glycobiology group at the IJC's ICO-Germans Trias i Pujol Campus, has been invited to give the opening paper at the 23rd Symposium of the Japanese Society for Transfusion Medicine and Cell Therapy. The Conference will be held in Kanazawa on 8 October and will be attended by more than 800 people whose work is in the field of blood transfusion and cell therapy. The title of his paper is “The biological meaning of the histo-blood group ABO system”. To mark the event, his book, Science of ABO Blood Groups, which has recently been published in Japanese, will be distributed to all the blood centres in Japan.
Reprogramming lymphocyte B cells in infantile leukaemia
The IJC's Stem Cell, Cancer and Development Group has published a new paper in the prestigious journal Stem Cell Reports. This paper, under the direction of Álvaro Muñoz-López and Dr. Clara Bueno, concerns the existence of epigenetic and transcriptional barriers that impede the reprogramming of acute leukaemias with MLL gene mutation. Put simply, the research group is attempting to reprogramme malignant lymphocyte B cells in infantile lymphoblastic leukaemia with MLL-AF4 fusion to learn how this disease develops before the cells become malignant. Previous studies have led to improvements in reprogramming attempts but the study concludes that, at the present time and under present conditions, such reprogramming is impossible.
New studies into chronic lymphatic leukaemia
The IJC's Stem Cell, Cancer and Development Group at the University of Barcelona Hospital Clínic Campus is collaborating with Dr. Patricia Pérez-Galan's group at the August Pi i Sunyer Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBAPS) on a preclinical study with mice to demonstrate the efficiency of the anti-CD38 antibody (daratumumab) in chronic lymphatic leukaemia (CLL). The study shows that the efficiency of this anti-CD38 antibody in CLL is affected by tissue microenvironment.
Thank you Badalona Running!
As every year, the "Badalona Running" Memorial Luis Condon, has given to the IJC the collection achieved during the race for the fight against leukaemia. It took place in the city of Badalona on Sunday 20 March. This year, the amount collected with the collaboration of the Obra Social la Caixa was 4,000 €. Thank you very much!
17 September - World Bone Marrow Donor Day
World Bone Marrow and Umbilical Cord Blood Donor Day, an initiative by the World Marrow Donors Association (WMDA), was held on17 September, the aim being to remind people throughout the world of the importance of donating bone marrow. The ONT (Spanish national transplant organisation), the Josep Carreras Foundation and the Spanish hematology and hemotherapy society (SEHH), together with patients' associations and other participants in the Spanish national marrow plan, issued a communiqué to inform society at large about the issue and to encourage people to register as bone marrow donors. Read the new (in Spanish)
REDMO renews its license for four years as a Tissue Centre
In accordance with the framework agreement which the Josep Carreras Foundation has signed with the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, in order to carry out our activities as a bone marrow donors register, we must accredit ourselves as Tissue Centre and, of course, comply with all applicable regulations.
As we have done on previous occasions, we would like to share our colleagues experiences with you so that everyone in the team has a better idea of the work being done. On this occasion we have interviewed Ana Pertusa, a member of the REDMO team. You can learn more about her and her work on the website. The interview is available here in Spanish.
You can read it at your leisure on our website. In it you will find personal accounts, a report about Leukaemia Week, an interview with our colleague, Dr. Javier Briones and a lot of more articles! Read here in Spanish.
Searching for Nessie: challenge met!
Borja, Carlos, Iñaki and Manu are four friends who set out on an incredible adventure. Together they covered over 1,500 kilometres by bicycle around the pathways of Scotland. They had two very clear aims: to raise €3,000 euros for our scientific research and to search for the Loch Ness monster, Nessie. As they say themselves, they are not the main players in the story. They dedicated each stage of their journey to one of our younger unstoppables, both patients and former patients. Our six patients drew pictures of what they thought Nessie would look like and these four riders promised, not only to look for him (or her J), but to turn their pictures into cuddly toys. We are so proud of their efforts, their solidarity and their eagerness to help our UNSTOPPABLES! You can see the challenge they set here.
Anyone for a mojito?
Our friends in the Begur Football Club wanted to help us with our cause during the fiestas that took place in their Costa Brave town. They put up a stall to raise funds for our Foundation. How did they do it? By selling refreshing mojitos J. All the funds they raised from the sales went in their entirety to our Foundation. Furthermore, they wanted to pay special tribute to one of our patients, Cato, who is very poorly at the moment. Their stall was even visited by the singer Lucrecia!! Thank you friends!
Did you know you can celebrate your little ones' birthdays in our support?
This summer, two of our colleagues at the Foundation, Alexandra Carpentier and Anna Grau, wanted their kids to have a special birthday party. As well as organising an afternoon tea party for their little friends, they bought mementos from the Foundation to give to everyone in the shape of tubes of Smarties that no one can resist. In return we made them some lovely cards to pass around as a party souvenir. So Macarena and Laia have had a solidarity birthday party! If you too would like to do this, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It's a fun and easy way to help us!
October solidarity events
During the course of the next weekends two very different events will be taking place in Barcelona, both of which will donate the funds raised to our Research Institute.
On Friday 14th the first solidarity padel competition is being held at the padel courts in Castell de Mata (Mataró). You can select one or two categories, (mixed, men's women's) and there will be prizes, draws and many other pleasant surprises. Furthermore, the event organiser is a friend of our colleague Adrià Palomino. If you would like to join in, just call Meri on 627 958 810.
The second event (Saturday 8th October) will be held at the centrally-located Barcelona bar, "Bare Nostrum", where the third benefit dinner has been organised to support our Foundation. Tickets cost €20 and the price includes a show of magic, two drinks and some snacks. It will be a very amusing evening with photocall, raffles, music and a good atmosphere. To join in call 691 257 211 and make your reservation (before 7 October).