STATEMENT: UIC Barcelona researcher identifies a possible therapeutic target against metastatic breast cancer

(Information sent by the signatory company).

STATEMENT: UIC Barcelona researcher identifies a possible therapeutic target against metastatic breast cancer

(Information sent by the signatory company)

Researcher at the Department of Basic Sciences at UIC Barcelona Roni Wright points out that inhibiting the NUDT5 protein could potentially kill cancer stem cells and reduce the side effects of other treatments.

Wright assures that this protein plays an essential role not only in breast tumors but, in general, in aggressive cancers.

The five-year survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer is currently less than 30%.

Barcelona, ​​October 17, 2023.- Researcher from the Department of Basic Sciences at UIC Barcelona Roni Wright has concluded that inhibiting the NUDT5 protein could contribute to creating target treatments against metastatic breast cancer, which currently has a five-year survival rate. years less than 30%.

On the occasion of World Breast Cancer Day, which is celebrated on Thursday, October 19, Wright explained that this protein, which generates energy in cancer stem cells, is essential "for them to grow, divide and spread." , which is why he has insisted that acting on it and blocking this action would allow the cancer to be attacked. "In addition, the side effects of other treatments would be reduced, since healthy cells would not be affected," she added.

The specialist explained that, although a large proportion of breast cancers are cured, between 20 and 30% of patients end up generating metastases because "a small group of cells found within the primary tumor is often resistant to the standard treatments and has the ability to create and expand in months or years.

According to the specialist, who focuses her research on the mechanisms behind cancer and the changes that occur in the cell nucleus, the NUDT5 protein not only plays a role in breast cancer but, in general, in aggressive cancers.

In addition to continuing to search for possible therapeutic targets, research in breast cancer will focus, according to Wright, on early detection using "non-invasive methods", as well as on the "personalization" of drugs based on the use of patient data that allows the best strategy to be used for each patient.

AI in early detection.

Roni Wright has referred to the use of Artificial Intelligence in the field of oncology and has assured that it will help in the early detection of breast cancer. In this sense, he highlighted that AI screening of mammograms "has proven to be as effective as radiologists in a small preliminary trial" and that its use in laboratories "contributes to understanding large volumes of global data, carrying out genomic studies and accelerate the discovery of new drugs.

However, he has made it clear that, although this tool "will reduce the time and resources invested, as scientists we must be aware that we must act carefully and ethically when it comes to patient data."

The researcher, who continues with the new drug discovery project promoted by the CaixaResearch Validate program of the Fundació la Caixa, is also working on the development of a lateral flow test for the early detection of metastases from blood biopsy samples of breast cancer patients with the support of Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test (

If you are interested in interviewing this specialist, you can contact:

Marta González Martínez. Communication Manager of the Sant Cugat Campus. T. 34 935 042 000. Ext: 5153 / 657 736 Trueta, s/n.08195 Sant Cugat del Vallès.

About UIC Barcelona.

The International University of Catalonia (UIC Barcelona) was founded in 1997 with the aim of offering quality university education and promoting research as a service to society. Linked to the business world and with a marked international character, it teaches 16 degrees, 8 double degrees, around thirty international double degrees and a wide range of postgraduate programs on its two campuses, located in Barcelona and Sant Cugat del Vallés.

As part of its commitment to society, UIC Barcelona also has three university clinics located on the Sant Cugat Campus: the University Clinic of Dentistry, Support - University Clinic of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Cuides UIC Barcelona, ​​focused on patient care. with advanced illnesses and palliative care.