The fight against cancer: past, present and future

The European Week Against Cancer 2023 will be held from May 25 to 31 with the aim of raising awareness of cancer prevention, access to treatment and support for survivors. From OLIGOFASTX we wanted to offer an overview of the current situation regarding the fight against this disease on the occasion of this week.

In recent years, there have been important medical advances in the fight against cancer, leading to the emergence of new treatments and diagnostic techniques. From OLIGOFASTX we are working on the development of oligonucleotides capable of fighting some of these rarer types of cancer, such as anaplastic thyroid cancer.

  1. Introduction: The fight against cancer, a global health problem

Cancer is a type of disease that causes a global health problem, affecting tens of millions of people each year worldwide. Despite medical and scientific advances in cancer research and treatment, this disease continues to be one of the leading causes of mortality. Early detection of cancer is key to its successful treatment and the reduction of mortality, but there are still many challenges in this process, especially in developing countries. In addition, ongoing research is necessary to find new therapies and treatments for different types of cancer and to improve the quality of life of patients.

Fortunately, new medical advances in the fight against cancer have recently been made that are improving the way this disease is diagnosed and treated, such as immunotherapy or advanced therapies…. In this article, we explore some of the most recent advances in the fight against cancer and what you should know about them.

  1. Gene and cell therapies: what are they and how can they help in the fight against cancer?

Gene and cell therapies are among the most innovative medical advances in the fight against cancer. Gene therapy involves genetically modifying the patient’s cells so that they are able to attack cancer cells more effectively. On the other hand, cell therapy (or CART-T) is based on the extraction of immune cells from the patient, which are modified in the laboratory and reintroduced into the body to fight cancer.

Both therapies have proven to be very effective in patients with advanced cancer that is resistant to other treatments. However, these therapies are expensive and still under development, so they are not available in all hospitals. Despite this, they are a great hope for patients battling cancer and can change the course of the disease in the future. It is important that patients and their families are informed about these options and discuss with their physicians whether they are candidates for these therapies. Medical advances in the fight against cancer continue to evolve and it is exciting to see how science is bringing us closer and closer to a cure for this devastating disease.

  1. Immunotherapy: a new form of cancer treatment

Immunotherapy is a new form of cancer treatment that has revolutionized the fight against this disease. Unlike conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, immunotherapy focuses on strengthening the patient’s immune system so that it can recognize and destroy cancer cells. This approach is based on the idea that the immune system is able to distinguish between healthy cells and abnormal cells, including cancer cells.

Immunotherapy uses a variety of approaches, such as T-cell therapy and antibody therapy, to help the immune system recognize and fight cancer. Although research is still ongoing to fully understand how immunotherapy works, initial results are very promising. Many patients have experienced a significant reduction in the size of their tumor and an improvement in their quality of life after receiving immunotherapy treatment. While immunotherapy is not effective for all types of cancer, it is an exciting and effective option for those with cancers that are difficult to treat with conventional methods.

  1. The role of oligonucleotides against cancer

Although their use as an antineoplastic is still in its infancy and no drug has been approved for this indication, oligonucleotides may also play an important role in the fight against cancer. Recently, results have been published on antisense oligonucleotides that block the production of molecules that play a key role in metastasis in human pancreatic tumors. On the other hand, in April 2023, preclinical results of another antisense oligonucleotide molecule against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma were published in Science Translational Medicine.

At OLIGOFASTX we are designing and developing an RNA version of an aptamer with the aim of validating it as a potential drug for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer.

  1. Advances in radiation therapy: how technology is improving cancer treatment

Radiotherapy is one of the most widely used techniques in the fight against cancer. However, traditional treatments not only affect cancer cells, but also healthy cells in the body, which can cause unwanted side effects. Fortunately, technology is improving cancer treatments and radiation therapy is no exception. Advances in radiation therapy are enabling greater precision in the delivery of radiation doses, which reduces damage to healthy cells and increases the effectiveness of treatment.

For example, image-guided radiation therapy allows physicians to precisely see the area to be treated and adjust treatment in real time to ensure that only cancer cells are targeted. In addition, proton radiation therapy allows radiation to be directed only at the tumor, sparing nearby healthy cells. These advances in radiotherapy are improving patients’ quality of life and increasing their chances of recovery. It is important to stay informed about these advances and talk to your doctor to determine if these treatments may be right for you or your loved ones.

  1. Early diagnosis of cancer: new techniques and tools

Early diagnosis of cancer is crucial to increase the chances of success in the treatment of this disease. In recent years, new techniques and tools have been developed that make it possible to detect cancer in its early stages, which has significantly improved the survival rate of patients. These techniques include positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and liquid biopsy.

PET and MRI provide detailed images of the body, which helps physicians identify the presence of cancer cells. On the other hand, liquid biopsy is a non-invasive technique that analyzes the DNA circulating in the blood to detect the presence of cancer cells. These new techniques and tools are a sign of the advancement of technology in the field of medicine and a hope for those fighting cancer. It is important for people to be informed about these new techniques and tools and to take the necessary preventive tests to detect cancer early.

  1. Cancer prevention: healthy habits that can reduce the risk of developing this disease

Cancer prevention is one of the best tools in the fight against this disease. There are healthy habits that can help reduce the risk of developing cancer. These include the consumption of a balanced and varied diet, with an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

It is also important to avoid the consumption of processed foods, saturated fats and red meat. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, at least 30 minutes a day, also contribute to lowering the risk of developing cancer. In addition, it is essential to avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption, as they are important risk factors in the development of different types of cancer. Finally, it is important to carry out periodic medical check-ups to detect possible health problems and to be able to act in time. With these healthy habits, we can reduce the risk of cancer and contribute to our own health and well-being.

  1. The patient’s role in the fight against cancer: how they can be actively involved in their treatment and self-care

In the fight against cancer, the patient has a fundamental role in his or her own treatment and self-care. It is important that the patient is informed about his disease, understands his diagnosis and the available treatment options. Through active participation in their own care, patients can make informed decisions about their treatment and have greater control over the process. In addition, self-care is a key aspect in the fight against cancer. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and reducing stress.

By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the patient can strengthen his immune system and improve his ability to fight the disease. In summary, the patient’s role in the fight against cancer is essential and can make a big difference in the outcome of treatment. By being an active participant in his or her own care, the patient can become empowered and improve his or her quality of life on the road to recovery.

  1. The role of medical and scientific professionals in the research and development of new cancer treatments.

Recent medical advances in the fight against cancer have largely focused on research and development of new treatments. Medical and scientific professionals play a fundamental role in this process, as they are responsible for carrying out clinical and laboratory studies to prove the efficacy and safety of new treatments. In addition, these professionals are also working on the identification of biomarkers and the development of personalized therapies to treat different types of cancer.

In this sense, from OLIGOFASTX we are working on the development of oligonucleotides that are capable of offering almost personalized treatments in the treatment of certain cancers classified as rare diseases due to their low incidence, seeking alternative ways of research and resolution with the aim of increasing the quality of life of those affected.

  1. Some cancers considered rare diseases

In the world of cancer, everything is yet to be done and researched. Not only in terms of specific treatments against those already known, but in significant advances in those that are considered rare diseases due to their low incidence.

Some of these typified as rare diseases are:

  1. Anaplastic thyroid cancer: Thyroid cancer is a common malignancy of the endocrine system. Thyroid cancer is a common malignancy of the endocrine system. Among the various types of thyroid carcinoma, anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (CAT) is the most aggressive and lethal histologic type with a median survival of 3-9 months. It accounts for less than 2% of thyroid cancers and affects adult patients between the sixth and eighth decade of life. It is also one of the rare diseases we are working on.
  2. Leiomyosarcoma: is a type of cancer that originates in smooth muscle cells and occurs most frequently in the soft tissues of the body, such as the uterus, stomach, intestines and blood vessels. It is often difficult to diagnose due to its rarity and can be aggressive if not treated early.
  3. Primary mantle cell lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphoid system. It mainly affects people over 60 years of age and is considered a rare disease due to its low prevalence compared to other types of lymphoma.
  4. Extragonadal germ cell tumor: this type of cancer originates in cells that produce eggs or sperm that have developed outside the ovaries or testes. It occurs frequently in the brain, chest and abdomen, and can be difficult to diagnose due to its rarity.
  5. Mesothelioma: this type of cancer originates in the cells that line the body’s internal organs, such as the lungs, heart or abdomen. It is caused by exposure to asbestos and its detection and treatment are difficult due to its rarity and long latency.
  6. Ewing’s sarcoma is a type of bone cancer that occurs mainly in children and adolescents. It is rare and is estimated to account for less than 1% of all bone cancers. It usually occurs in the hip, femur and tibia bones.


  1. Conclusion: Future perspectives in the fight against cancer.

In conclusion, recent medical advances in the fight against cancer are a hope for all those who are dealing with this disease.

The research and development of new therapies and technologies, such as the ones we are working on at OLIGOFASTX, are allowing for a more precise and effective treatment, improving the quality of life of patients and increasing their chances of survival.

However, there is still much to be done in the fight against cancer. It is necessary to continue to invest in research and education on the importance of early detection, as this can make a big difference in the effectiveness of treatment.

In addition, it is important not to forget the importance of prevention, leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding unnecessary exposure to known risk factors.

In summary, the road to a cure for cancer is long and arduous, but we must continue to work together to advance the fight against this disease and offer hope and opportunity to those who suffer from it.



Cancer research and treatment in Europe:

  1. Spanish National Cancer Institute (CNIO):
  2. Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC):
  3. European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC):
  4. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC):
  5. UK National Cancer Institute (NCI):

Cancer research and treatment in Spanish:

  1. Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM):
  2. Scientific Foundation of the Spanish Association Against Cancer:
  3. Spanish Breast Cancer Research Group (GEICAM):
  4. Spanish Sarcoma Research Group (GEIS):
  5. Spanish Association of Cancer Patients (AEPC):

Cancer research and treatment in English:

  1. Krebsforschung UK:
  2. European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO):
  3. Europäische Krebsorganisation (ECCO):
  4. European Society of Radiology (ESR):
  5. European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC):