Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO)

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SMC participants

Deputy Head of the Tobacco Control Unit at the Catalan Institute of Oncology and lecturer in the Department of Nursing, Public Health, Mental Health and Maternal and Child Health at the University of Barcelona

Medical Oncologist at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO

Assistant doctor of medical oncology at the Catalan Institute of Oncology and at the Girona University Hospital Doctor Josep Trueta

Director of Epidemiology, Prevention and Cancer Control at the Catalan Institute of Oncology and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control at the Catalan Institute of Oncology

Head of the Haematology Department at ICO Badalona

Epidemiologist at the Girona Cancer Epidemiology and Registry Unit of the Catalan Institute of Oncology - Oncology Master Plan

Head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in l'Hospitalet (ICO)

Emeritus researcher at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), senior researcher at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

Contents related to this centre

The classical view describes most cancers as the result of mutations that happen by chance and accumulate over a lifetime. Now, a study claims to break that paradigm. A team of researchers from Stanford University (USA) has described that the genetics we inherit influences the surveillance that our defences do of these mutations, conditioning the type of tumour that can develop and its prognosis. The results, which for the moment refer to breast cancer, are published in the journal Science.  

Inter-territorial Council

This Friday, the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System approved the Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking (PIT). The document, which incorporates 147 proposals from the autonomous communities, has not achieved consensus among all of them.


By 2050, there will be more than 35 million new cases of cancer worldwide, an increase of 77% from the 20 million cases reported in 2022. These are projections made by the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which has published the latest estimates of the global burden of cancer. Using data from 185 countries, IARC estimates that in 2022 lung cancer was the most common cancer worldwide, with female breast cancer in second place, followed by colorectal, prostate and stomach cancer. The authors stress the urgent need to address inequalities around these diseases.


International research estimates that by 2024 there will be approximately 1,270,800 deaths from different types of cancer in the European Union (EU) as a whole. In the specific case of colorectal cancer, the researchers estimate that mortality rates will increase among people aged between 25 and 49 in the EU. In Spain, the increase will be 5.5 % in men. The authors of the research, published in the Annals of Oncology, attribute this increased mortality to overweight, obesity and alcohol consumption in this age group.


A study published in JAMA Network Open has followed 1,340 women with high-risk operable breast cancer. Analysing their lifestyles before, during and after treatment, the researchers conclude that those who followed a healthier pattern - including physical activity, no smoking, high fruit and vegetable intake, and low consumption of meat and sugary drinks - had a 37% lower risk of relapse and a 58% higher chance of survival than those who followed a worse pattern. Although the improvements in absolute risk were much smaller, the authors conclude that "lifestyle interventions may be a safe, inexpensive and feasible adjuvant strategy to delay and prevent recurrence and death from the world's most common cancer".


A phase 2 clinical trial has analysed the safety and efficacy of adding immunotherapy to traditional chemotherapy to treat a subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children under one year of age. This subtype of leukaemia, although rare in absolute terms, is the most common in children of this age, and its prognosis in this age group had not improved in recent years. The immunotherapy used, a bispecific antibody that binds to tumour cells on the one hand and T lymphocytes on the other, improved two-year survival from 66% to 93% in treated patients, according to The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Tobacco and lung cancer

Un estudio ha estimado las muertes por cáncer que se producirán en la Unión Europea y el Reino Unido en 2023. Comparándolas con las observadas en 2018, estiman que se reducirán en un 6,5 % en hombres y un 3,7 % en mujeres de forma global. Sin embargo, en España aumentará la mortalidad por cáncer de pulmón en mujeres. Los resultados se publican en la revista Annals of Oncology. 

Cáncer de mama

A phase 2 clinical trial has tested a type of immunotherapy based on oncolytic viruses in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of triple-negative breast tumours. The results are published in the journal Nature Medicine.


Research to be published in the journal Nature identifies and characterizes the cells responsible for relapse in colon cancer. In addition, it proposes revising clinical guidelines and administering immunotherapy before surgery to try to avoid them


A meta-analysis published in the journal PLOS Medicine has analysed the time to diagnosis and treatment of various types of cancer in rich and poor countries. On average, the processes are 1.5 to 4 times slower in disadvantaged countries.