Scientific report 2010
Found in Translation

The translational approach facilitates the detailed and direct study of each patient and each tumor. Aided by direct access to patients thanks to its privileged location set within the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, its purely translational research model and multidisciplinary setting, VHIO has become one of the few comprehensive cancer centers to translate research findings for the benefit of patients in record time.

Undertaking one of Spain's most dynamic cancer research programs, research at VHIO focuses on understanding all relevant aspects of cancer biology from cellular and molecular biology and genetics through to therapeutics. Our extraordinary patient care is made possible by our innovative programs in preclinical, translational, and clinical research, our cutting edge core technologies, whereby researchers collaborate closely with Vall d'Hebron University Hospital physician-scientists, a partnership that helps accelerate the application of key research findings to the benefit of our patients.

It is only through the continued and generous support received from private institutions, companies, individuals, funding entities and agencies that our multidisciplinary teams continue to improve survival and quality of life for all our patients today, and in so doing turn research into more effective, personalized treatments and better clinical practice for the future.


Providing the optimal organizational structure allowing researchers contact with cancer patients using the most advanced technologies and interaction between biomedical specialties.

Scientific Direction
Clinical Research Program
Gene Expression
& Cancer Group
Clinical trials Core
services & Units
Breast Cancer &
Stem Cells
& Cancer
Clinical Trials
& Endocrine Tumors
Proteomics Clinical Research
Oncology Nurses
CNS Tumors,
Sarcoma &
Cancer of Unknown
Primary Site
Animal Models
& Cancer
Clinical Research
Pharmacy Unit
Proteomics Research Unit for
Molecular Therapy of
Cancer: "la Caixa"
Head, Neck &
Gynecological Tumors
Data Bases And Stadistics High Risk &

Research Group / Units

Core Groups classified according
to their scientific reporting line

Radiation Oncology
Thoracic Tumors

Future expansion of VHIO's preclinical, translational and clinical research activities is paramount to be able to build on the milestones marked by VHIO to-date.

Further to the City Hall's approval of the project in 2009, we are carefully working on the strategic planning behind the new Cellex building which will not only provide the necessary space and amenities for VHIO to further develop its programs, but will also foster the already existing multidisciplinary cross-talk and connectivity by bringing all VHIO teams together under the same roof. We aim to have the plans for the building and facilities finalised over the coming year so that construction can begin in early 2012.


The Vall d'Hebron University Hospital:
The leading hospital complex in Catalonia and one of the
largest in Spain.

There has never been a more promising time in the global battle against the multifaceted, complex disease that is cancer. We are at a turning point. As researchers we benefit enormously from the explosion of novel genomic data and the rapid advancement in new diagnostic and therapeutic options.

Cancer treatment and care can and will only advance through the equal involvement and cross-talk between all oncology professionals form different specialties as dynamic, multidisciplinary cancer teams within a setting that provides the appropriate infrastructure, expertise, and interconnectivity.

The Vall d'Hebron University Hospital offers the ideal environment and base through which to foster and promote such essential collaboration:

  • VHIO coexists with the day to day activity of the hospital with all the available clinical care state-of-the-art technology for the treatment and care of cancer patients.
  • The campus naturally spurs multidisciplinary cooperation, thus permitting a more comprehensive approach to combating cancer. It is thanks to this environment that VHIO has been able to develop its multidisciplinary cancer teams to ensure patients are cared for by as many different specialties as required for their particular type of disease including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, psychiatrists, and nurses.
  • The Vall d'Hebron University Hospital is a teaching hospital associated with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

In addition to the inspiring dedication, expertise and dedication of VHIO's faculty, the combination of these aforementioned factors have also been of major importance in uniting the talent required to allow our teams of researchers to produce such excellent cancer science from bench-bedside-bench.


Enabling VHIO to further deliver on all its research, translational and clinical trial objectives, our Institute collaborates closely with the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital's Oncology Department, driven by a shared determination to both advance and accelerate personalized and targeted therapies against cancer.

The Breast Cancer Center:
Providing optimal care for breast cancer patients.

The Breast Cancer Center was set up at Vall d'Hebron in 2008 in memoriam of Roman Sanahuja and Francisca Pons thanks to the Hospital's breast pathology and oncology teams of excellence. Dedicated to the care of patients with breast cancer, we combine forces and pool expertise across specialties in order to work in tightly connected multidisciplinary teams focused on achieving better, more effective treatments and ultimately cure.


Knowledge of the molecular biology of cancer has grown exponentially over the last decade and this in turn has meant the identification of a host of therapeutic leads for the development of selective drugs. Directed by José Baselga and Josep Tabernero, under the clinical coordination of Jordi Rodón, the Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) - "la Caixa" was inaugurated in June this year thanks to the support received from the Welfare Projects Division of "la Caixa" Foundation in order to develop new drugs based on the molecular profile of each tumor and optimize treatment regimes using combinations of new drugs with already existing ones.

Mirroring the multidisciplinary model of VHIO, research at the Unit incorporates an expert team of medical oncologists, specialists in molecular pathology, pharmacists exclusively dedicated to this field, experts in imaging and diagnostics, nurses specialized in molecular treatments and study coordinators. Such a multidisciplinary approach ensures that patients enrolled in the various Phase I and early Phase II Clinical Trials at the Unit - a crucial first-step in developing and accelerating new ways to combat cancer, receive the full range of expertise for his/her illness as well as detailed advice on the characteristics of his/her particular treatment.

This new Unit, a pioneering project at national level, also benefits from the same privileged environment enjoyed by VHIO; located in the patient care environment of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and set within the research context. This excellent bridging and tight connectivity between health care and research enables us to establish new treatment models for patients with highly selective drugs, expanding the knowledge of tumor diseases and how to treat them in and individualized way - getting the right drug to the right patient at the right time. For more detailed information surrounding the Unit's strategic goals and a summary of successes to-date as well as information about all VHIO's Clinical Trial Services and activities, please visit our Scientific Report online at: