Dr Valcarcel is testing a new treatment in laboratory models of different types of lung cancer and studying the molecular mechanisms that allow it to target lung cancer cells. This research will be a vital step towards producing a completely new and targeted approach to tackling a cancer that is in desperate need of more effective treatments.
Dr Juan Valcárcel is a group leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona. His expertise in how our cells produce the proteins they need to carry out their normal day to day functions has led his group to discover a brand new way to treat cancer.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide with 2 million people diagnosed each year. It also kills more people than any other type of cancer with an estimated 1.7 million deaths each year. Public health campaigns to cut back on the number of people smoking has had a positive impact on reducing the number of cases of lung cancer. But smoking is not the only cause and millions of people die each year because of a lack of effective treatments.
Dr Juan Valcárcel, based at Centre de Regulació Genòmica, Barcelona, Spain, is developing a novel treatment for lung cancer. His team has already identified a potential weakness in lung cancer cells and shown that with their unique treatment technique they can exploit this weakness to prevent the growth of lung tumours in mice.