We are really excited because one of our most loved professors, Dr. Mariano Barbacid, has recently turn 70 and we would like to take this opportunity to wish him Happy-Birthday!!!! In this photo we can see him celebrating it with his group, the Experimental Oncology group at the CNIO.
And there is no better way to celebrate that you enter in a new decade other than presenting on the same year an elegant study published onCancer Cell. In this publication, Dr. Barbacid and his group have shown for the first time a complete regression of advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma after the combined inhibition of EGFR and Raf1, and most importantly, in the absence of significant toxicities.
This cancer type is one of the most aggressive ones, with a really bad prognosis, and for which the only real treatment is surgery. Only a limited 10% of the cases, and only if the tumor is still localized are considered for surgery. And here is the real relevance of this work, it is the first time that a complete regression of these type of tumors have been achieved at a therapeutic level.
Dr. Barbacid has demonstrated in this complete study how the observed antitumoral effect requires the combined elimination of both targets, EGFR and Raf1, in order to trigger apoptosis because single target elimination is not enough to block tumor growth. And they have gone even further, they have also translate this effect to human-derived PDX.
These results enhance the relevance of developing better inhibitors against Raf1 due to the fact that current treatments show no real specificity against this target and this is essential to extrapolate these results to the clinic.
For his brilliant work we would like to congratulate Dr. Barbacid…not many people with his age are capable to continue with such excellent research work!