Once again, the Red Nacional de Metástasis Cerebral (Renacer) proves how important is to combine the molecular basis of cancer and the clinic: a cancer devastating team. The collaboration between the researcher Dr. Manuel Valiente and his team, at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO), and different hospitals such as the Hospital 12 de Octubre, the Hospital La Princesa, the Hospital Álvaro Cunqueiro, the Hospital Universitario de Burgos, La Unidad de Investigación y Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Albacete and the Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge, has given rise to an amazing new method that can significantly improve the prognosis of brain metastatic patients.

Frustratingly, lung, breast and skin cancer have really bad prognosis when they metastasize to brain because there are no effective therapies. When they are identified, it is a devastating moment for clinicians, for families and for patients. It is a very complex scenario because it is not enough to target cancer cells; targeting its interaction with their microenvironment has proven essential. Currently, animal models are allowing to study new personalized therapies in the context of associated toxicity, but by the time they give results, it is usually too late for the patient.

METPlatform, is a novel method design by Dr. Manuel Valiente and his group, which allows for the testing of multiple drugs and its combinations in samples obtained directly from the biopsies. The sample is collected in the hospital and culture in the laboratory ex vivo, where is tested against multiple potential therapeutic drugs as soon as in 7 days. Not only this method allows to pin point which treatment will be effective to eliminate the brain metastasis for each patient, but also, it can be implemented at large scale because it is easy and cheap.

This method has already identified novel biomarkers for brain metastases. Dr. Valiente has already published in Embo Molecular Medicine potential targets, such as the heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), essential for the stabilization of a great number of proteins require for tumor growth and which has been identified as a bad brain metastatic prognostic factor. Consequently, HSP90 inhibitors could be a potential novel therapy for certain cases.