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Precision medicine in oncology: Development of new technological approaches to personalised treatments in immunotherapy

Dr. Desamparados Roda and Dr. Sheila Zúñiga Trejos, researchers at the Health Research Institute – INCLIVA, Valencia.

The project focuses on technological innovation enabling the identification and characterisation of new therapeutic targets in cancer patients who are candidates to receive experimental immunotherapy in the first stages. The final goal is to identify new targets enabling a personalised treatment for each patient or group of patients, with greater efficacy and less adverse effects.

Traditionally, the search for molecular alterations has been carried out on a very small number of genes and in very specific cases. The new, high-performance molecular characterisation platforms, as well as the continuous development of innovative drugs, have led to new treatments aimed at groups of patients with common genetic alterations, giving rise to a new branch of Medicine; Precision Medicine.

Immunotherapy has become established as one of the most promising alternatives to chemotherapy treatment. This approach consists in the use of drugs that use the patient’s own immune system to combat a specific pathology. The application of treatments based on immunotherapy has demonstrated considerable effectiveness in some types of cancer, including lung cancer, where it has quintupled the survival rate in specific groups of patients.

The project aims to establish and implement the study of new biomarkers that will facilitate the selection of individualised treatments for patients diagnosed with advanced forms of cancer.