FERO Foundation: driving advanced molecular diagnostics against cancer
Headed by Rodrigo Dienstmann, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Oncology Data Science (ODysSey) Group, under the co-leadership of Ana Vivancos, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Cancer Genomics Group, Paolo Nuciforo, Principal Investigator of our Molecular Oncology Group, and Elena Garralda, who leads VHIO’s Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) – CaixaResearch, as well as Early Clinical Drug Development, our Molecular Prescreening Program, is supported through our institutional Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Program (DIAMAV), powered by one of our patrons and Institutional Supporters, the FERO Foundation.
Serving as a Core VHIO Service, our expert team focuses on the clinical implementation of advanced molecular diagnostics to optimize the selection of therapies for patients being considered for enrolment in clinical trials, as well as continued medical education on emerging cancer biomarkers for precision cancer therapy. By advancing molecular profiling in patients, personalized treatment strategies based on the genomic or pathologic profile of each individual patient can be more effectively matched to the molecular makeup of their respective disease.
Our researchers and clinical investigators identify specific molecular risk factors and better predict the potential efficacy of specific agents tailored to each particular tumor. Additionally, this knowledge better guides our multidisciplinary teams to assess and establish patients’ suitability for inclusion in early phase clinical trials.
It is thanks to the backing received from FERO that our Molecular Prescreening Program continues to establish itself as a reference in prescreening and oncogenomics in Europe, and continues to extend its enabling technologies and platforms to an increasing number of individuals. In 2020, our researchers and clinical investigators performed molecular profiling in over 1,100 cancer patients as potential candidates for inclusion in our clinical studies. In total, 150 patients were treated with biomarker-matched innovative therapies as a result of these efforts.
In short, this Program enables us to lead one of the few centers in Europe to run such a comprehensive program, ensure that more of our patients can ultimately benefit from our powerful technology programs and approaches, further advance research into the more effective and less invasive tracking of cancer by liquid biopsy, as well as develop cancer diagnostics for the early detection of disease.