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News

  • 13/05/2022 - General information

    Catalan collaboration helps end ‘diagnostic odyssey’ for rare disease patients

    A platform developed by the Centre Nacional d'Anàlisi Genòmica (CNAG-CRG) allows doctors and researchers from Catalan hospitals to share data and otherwise scattered expertise and diagnose patients with neurologic rare diseases. During the pilot project, a diagnosis was provided to 67 out of 323 patients (20.7% of cases), just by reanalysing previously available data. The results constitute an important milestone for ending the 'diagnostic odyssey' faced by patients in Catalonia. The collaborative approach also resulted in the identification of six new genes linked to specific diseases, which will make it easier to diagnose certain diseases in the future. The results, published today in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, were possible thanks to the Undiagnosed Rare Disease Program of Catalonia (URD-Cat), funded by the Departament de Salut de la Generalitat de Catalunya. The URD-Cat project was coordinated by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM-Hospital del Mar) and involved more than 140 professionals from 15 different research centres and hospitals.

    Més informació "Catalan collaboration helps end ‘diagnostic odyssey’ for rare disease patients"

  • 04/05/2022 - Press release

    The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute receives a European grant of 2.5 million euros to expand knowledge of the human genome

    The Biomedical Informatics Research Programme of IMIM-Hospital del Mar has received one of the European Research Council (ERC) grants for the NovoGenePop project, the ERC Advanced Grant. Among the 253 researchers selected, only thirteen are from Spain. The project at the IMIM-Hospital del Mar, the only Spanish biomedical research centre to be selected, will develop bioinformatics tools to identify specific genes in certain individuals or populations. This may pave the way for accelerated research in fields such as cancer and hereditary diseases. In total, the ERC Advanced Grants have distributed 624 million between 253 European researchers. This is the fourth grant of this type that the IMIM-Hospital del Mar has received in the last years.

    Més informació "The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute receives a European grant of 2.5 million euros to expand knowledge of the human genome"

  • 30/03/2022 - General information

    Potential utility of a marker to personalise anti-CD20 treatment in patients with multiple sclerosis

    A study by the Neuroimmunology Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) has validated a possible marker that could improve the efficiency of one of the main multiple sclerosis treatments. The marker is a specific type of immune system cell, known as NK (Natural Killer) cells, which express a specific receptor on their surface, NKG2C. Currently, patients with multiple sclerosis are treated with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies, which are designed to eliminate the B-lymphocyte population in peripheral blood and thus control disease activity. These drugs are scheduled to be administered once every six months, although it is unclear whether this time period is appropriate for all patients. Several studies indicate that, depending on the drug given, it takes between six months and a year and a half for the levels of the B-lymphocyte population to recover.

    Més informació "Potential utility of a marker to personalise anti-CD20 treatment in patients with multiple sclerosis"

  • 23/03/2022 - General information

    The European Research Network on Signal Transduction (ERNEST) has established an Emergency Fund for Ukrainian researchers.

    The European Research Network on Signal Transduction (ERNEST), of which IMIM is a member, has created an Emergency Fund for Ukrainian researchers. Researchers affiliated to any legal entity in Ukraine (for example, schools and universities, research centers, governmental institutions, or private companies) are eligible to apply for this funding. For more information you can contact Jana Selent (vice-chair of the ERNEST - Cost Action 18133) or visit this website

    Més informació "The European Research Network on Signal Transduction (ERNEST) has established an Emergency Fund for Ukrainian researchers."

  • 17/03/2022 - Press release

    Radical increase in the effectiveness of breast cancer immunotherapy

    Researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute and Hospital del Mar have transformed immunotherapy-resistant tumours into tumours that respond to this treatment, achieving cures in animal models through an innovative therapeutic strategy in triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive subtype. Researchers have discovered the essential role of a new factor, LCOR, in enabling cancer cells to present tumour antigens on their surfaces. These antigens allow the immune system to recognise the tumour, an essential step if immunotherapy treatment is to succeed. On the other hand, they have shown that cancer stem cells have very low levels of LCOR, making them invisible to the immune system and therefore resistant to treatment. The work that has just been published used an innovative experimental messenger RNA system, similar to the technology used for COVID-19 vaccines, to produce LCOR in tumour cells. In this way, the resistant tumour cells of triple-negative cancer become visible and sensitive to the immune system. This approach is also being investigated in other breast cancer subtypes

    Més informació "Radical increase in the effectiveness of breast cancer immunotherapy"

  • 22/03/2022 - Press release

    Living near green areas reduces the risk of suffering a stroke by 16%

    In contrast, exposure to environmental pollutants such as fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and soot significantly increases the risk of suffering an ischaemic stroke. The article in the journal Environment International, one of the most important studies published to date in Europe, analysed data from the entire population in Catalonia, geo-referencing more than three and a half million people. The authors consider that these results mean that the maximum levels of atmospheric pollutants established by the EU need to be reconsidered. The risk of suffering an ischaemic stroke, the most common type of cerebrovascular event, is 16% less in people who have green spaces less than 300 metres from their homes. This has been revealed in a joint study by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Hospital del Mar, the Catalan Health Quality and Assessment Agency (AQuAS) from the Catalan Government's Department of Health and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre promoted by the "la Caixa" Foundation. It is the most important work in this field to date in Europe, analysing data on the entire population of Catalonia between 2016 and 2017. 

    Més informació "Living near green areas reduces the risk of suffering a stroke by 16%"

  • 08/02/2022 - Press release

    Colorectal cancers raise defensive barrier in response to chemotherapy

    Drugs which are commonly-used as the first line of treatment for colorectal cancer cause the tumour cells to oversecrete proteins known as mucins, according to a new study published today in the journal eLife. The proteins alter the mucous layer, forming a physical barrier that prevents drugs from reaching their intended target. Using different techniques involving genetic manipulation and the use of chemical inhibitors, the research team were able to experimentally regulate mucin secretion in cancer cell lines and patient-derived organoids, paving the way for the development of future treatments that can be used alongside chemotherapy to target drug-resistant forms of colorectal cancer. The experiments also revealed potential new biomarkers for the prognosis of the disease.

    Més informació "Colorectal cancers raise defensive barrier in response to chemotherapy"

  • 28/01/2022 - General information

    Chef Ada Parellada shares the thrill of food with the volunteers of the PENSA project.

    The renowned chef gave an online session in which she explained that it is possible to eat well and healthily and still enjoy food. The talk, organised by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute's Neurosciences programme, is part of the cognitive and social stimulation sessions for volunteers in the PENSA project on the prevention of cognitive impairment. Can you eat healthily and still get excited about what you eat? The answer is yes. This was explained by Ada Parellada, the chef and director of Restaurant Semproniana and 2016 Creu de Sant Jordi winner, who this morning visited the facilities at the Hospital de Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) as a guest of the Institute's Neuroscience Programme. Her visit was part of the PENSA project, promoted by the programme, in collaboration with the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Centre from the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.

    Més informació "Chef Ada Parellada shares the thrill of food with the volunteers of the PENSA project."

  • 27/01/2022 - Press release

    New diagnostic marker for pancreatic cancer identified

    This is a new valid marker for diagnosing this type of tumour, one of the cancers with the worst prognosis. It is, in fact, the third leading cause of cancer death in developed countries. The study, published in the journal eBioMedicine, was led by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute and IBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS. Their results point to a protein present in tumour cells as an indicator of pancreatic cancer in early stages of the disease. This marker can be detected through a simple blood test, facilitating its application in clinical practice. A team of researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM-Hospital del Mar) and IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS have identified a new viable early diagnostic marker for the most common type of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The study has been published in the journal eBioMedicine, from The Lancet group, and may represent an important step in the early detection and treatment of this type of tumour, with one of the worst prognoses. Doctors and researchers from the Digestology and Medical Oncology Departments at Hospital del Mar, as well as from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas; CNIO), the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria; IRYCIS) and CIBER also collaborated in the study.

    Més informació "New diagnostic marker for pancreatic cancer identified"

  • 10/02/2022 - General information

    Towards full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls

    The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute and Hospital del Mar are once again supporting the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, raising awareness of their work and trying to encourage new vocations. In the case of the IMIM, just over half of the research positions are held by women. In the 21st century, women who decide to pursue a career in the various fields of science often receive smaller research grants than their male colleagues. They hold only 12% of the positions in national science academies, while they account for a third of all researchers. Realities that make an initiative like the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and campaigns such as She Inspired Me more necessary than ever.

    Més informació "Towards full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls"

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