Stimulating the body's natural defenses to fight cancer, the basis of immunotherapy
Cancer and infectious diseases, although two major independent research areas, are closely linked. A pillar of IrsiCaixa research is the immune system, which is a key bridge linking cancer and infection, crucial as it is in fighting against tumour cells and against infectious agents, respectively.
Vaccines as cancer immunotherapy
Immunotherapy, a treatment that activates the body's own defences to attack tumour cells, has changed the course of the fight against cancer. IrsiCaixa is researching use of a platform of vaccines initially designed in its laboratories against infectious agents as immunotherapy, as an innovation that would make it possible to provide targeted and customized treatments to people with different types of cancer. In parallel, IrsiCaixa is also studying mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapies, with a view to complementing the design of vaccines against cancer and providing optimal treatments to patients.
Viruses and cancer
Another IrsiCaixa research line is the study of the relationship between viruses and cancer, given that certain viral infections lead to cancer, e.g., the papilloma virus and cervical cancer, and the Epstein Barr virus and Hodgkin lymphoma.