A new technology to fight cancer


Quirónsalud with the support of the UCAM is investigating personalized treatments to fight cancer.

Personalized vaccines, the study of genes, and a multidisciplinary focus improve results and increase survival rates, as an alternative to conventional methods.

Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja has opened a Clean Room, designed to meet the international standards for quality GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), and intended for the preparation of medicine for advanced therapies, such as tumour cell vaccines. The medical team from the Oncology platform at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja, is part of the Chair of multidisciplinary Oncology at the UCAM (Catholic University of Murcia), and is led by Doctor Antonio Brugarolas. The team have started the manufacturing of dentritic cells made with the patient’s own blood, which has had positive results for treating metastatic prostate cancer. “As well as working on this type of cancer, the future plans for the Clean Room include obtaining vaccines to treat patients with skin and breast cancer”, explains Doctor Juan José Mata, specialist in immunology at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja.

A new technology based on the study of genes

Following in the line of work of personalized treatment to fight cancer, Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja is initiating a Next Generation Sequencer to find out how each tumour behaves by studying the DNA and ARN in patients that are resistant to conventional chemotherapy.

It means we can look for genetic alterations of DNA in all tumours. Up until now 20% of patients had DNA mutations which were treatable, and hopefully now that percentage will increase. In addition, he explains that not only do they aim to detect the mutations that are treatable to administer the correct treatment, but also they want to know how the cells react to the mutations, that way they can visualize how the cell adapts and predict the chemotherapy that is best for each tumour. (Doctor Brugarolas)

This new technology implies that the patient only needs one biopsy and they get the results back in just two weeks. In addition it gives the patient a choice between different treatments depending on the costs, the side effects, the method of intake, and the patient’s preferences meaning that the method is personalized. On average 600 genes are studied in just one test which is more reliable than conventional chemotherapy, and can predict which are the best drugs to fight the cancer.

By analysing a patient’s ARN, their response to chemotherapy treatment can be predicted with 70% accuracy.

A high resolution multidisciplinary concept

The oncology platform at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja is composed of a multidisciplinary team of more than 30 top level specialists, and state of the art technology such as PET-CT, intraoperative radiotherapy (mobetrón), personalized pharmacotherapy, genetic counselling, or the Clean Room; which have made it an international centre of reference for diagnosis and cancer treatment, visited by patients from Spain and Europe.

The Chair of multidisciplinary Oncology at the UCAM and Quirónsalud Torrevieja have worked together for several years, to develop research which later has been put to practice at the Hospital, such as the HIPEC technique which consists in applying chemotherapy with hyperthermia inside the abdomen during surgery. This technique which has been applied at the Oncology platform at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja for over 15 years, has recently been introduced in most major hospitals in Spain. After many years of research, it has proven to be 30% effective in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis, and is accepted in the scientific community as being the best alternative for metastatic peritoneal ovarian or colon cancer.

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