Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC)
In 2010, after more than 30 years working to improve quality of life for patients the Josep Carreras Foundation launched a ground-breaking project. Together with the regional government it founded the first European research centre exclusively focused in leukaemia and other haematological diseases, and one of the few existing in the world.
Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute Dossier
How was born the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC)
The Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute is a member of the CERCA group of centres founded by the Catalan Government to promote a biomedical cluster in the north of Spain. The IJC will work to improve the diagnostics, prognosis and treatment of leukaemia and other haematological diseases. It will do this by assembling a group of international researchers; they will work on both basic and clinical aspects of the diseases and in close collaboration with reference hospitals and the doctors treating patients. The eventual goal is to make all leukaemias curable.
Every year, 5,000 people are diagnosed with leukaemia in Spain. Additionally, other haematological diseases such as lymphomas and multiple myelomas affect, 7,000 and 2,000 new patients respectively, annually in Spain. Amongst children, leukaemia is the most frequent kind of cancer, representing around 30% of all paediatric cancers.
Leukaemias and other haematological diseases, present one of the biggest challenges for the study and treatment of human cancers. However, they also represent enormous opportunity, as in fact, they are types of cancer that could be curable. Two of the cancers that we're capable of curing today are children's Acute Lymphoid Leukaemia and Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
The research lines and the different scientific grounds
The opportunities that research on leukaemia and other malignant blood diseases provide are evident. We must respond to these opportunities by using the technologies and methodologies available, as well as designing new ones. For this reason, the research lines that have been established by the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute are as follows:
1. Acute leukaemias
2. Chronic Myeloproliferative diseases
3. Chronic Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
4. Monoclonal gammopathies
5. Myelodysplastic syndrome
6. Blood malignancies and coagulation
7. Therapeutic treatments associated to complications
8. Hematopoietic stem cell transplants and cellular therapy
9. Epidemiological research
10. Clinical research
11. Minority Anemias
The IJC has three independent coordinated scientific sites: the Campus Clinic-UB, located at the Clinic Hospital research facilities and the UB Medicine College, managed by Dr. Álvaro Urbano Ispizua and directed by Dr. Pablo Menéndez; the ICO-Germans Trias i Pujol Campus in Badalona located on the site with the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) Teaching Unit, the IMPPC and other CERCA research centres. The ICO-Germans Trias i Pujol Campus is managed by Dr. Evarist Feliu and under the supervision of Dr. Francesc Solé. The Sant Pau Campus is located at the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital complex, as well as the UAB Sant Pau's academic institution. The Clinic-UB campus underlines the scientific commitment in the field of haematology at the University of Barcelona (UB) Faculty of Medicine and the Clinic Hospital. It continues the tradition started by Professor Farreras Valentí and continued by Professor Ciril Rozman, who have carried on with excellent research and teaching in this field.
"The healthcare and scientific environment within our three campuses is excellent. Our project wants to sum up, integrate, share and boost the high current level even more. We are already doing this by simplifying paperwork and sharing our facilities, and also by integrating transversal services to avoid unnecessary duplications. Our main goal is that leukaemia and other blood malignancies become 100 % curable diseases" Josep Carreras.
The Josep Carreras Leukaemia Foundation has invested over 25 million euros in the buildings and equipment of the Clinic-UB, the ICO/Germans Trias i Pujol and Sant Pau campuses. The Government of Catalonia assign an annual core-funding budget to guarantee the day-to-day operation of the Institute. Competitive funding, grants, sponsorship and commercial contracts will fund the research projects. The "La Caixa" Foundation will also cooperate with the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Foundation in the project by helping finance the construction and equipment of the Institute, within their long-term program to promote excellence in research.
The Clinic-UB campus has a 250 m2 installation in the Faculty of Medicine. This contains with a molecular laboratory, a flow cytometry laboratory and a cryobiology room. The IJC will contribute to the development of the animal facilities, enabling construction work worth 870,000 € and scientific equipment valued at 1,690,000 €. At the same time, due to the complexity of some of the processes, the IJC will revamp some of the shared facilities in the areas of microscopy, proteomics and genomics to ensure their optimal use.
ICO/Germans Trias i Pujol Campus
In order to establish the ICO/Germans Trias i Pujol Campus, the Badalona City Council conceded land adjacent to the hospital where the Josep Carreras Foundation has built and equip a new building of around 10,000 m2. The total contribution has been valued at 25,000,000 €.
Sant Pau Campus
The Sant Pau Campus will use the research laboratories of the Haematology Services and Transplant Unit of the Sant Pau Hospital, as well as the research laboratories of the Sant Pau Foundation and Faculty of Medicine.