The term cancer refers to a heterogeneous group of more than 200 different diseases. It is one of the health problems with the greatest healthcare and social impact in developed countries, given its incidence and lethality, associated sequealae and the healthcare resources used. In recent decades, there has been an increase in the incidence of cancer due to longer life expectancy, better access to healthcare, environmental and lifestyle-related factors and new diagnostic technologies that enable diagnosis at earlier stages and of incident disease.
Further, declines in mortality associated with infectious and cardiovascular diseases have increased the relative importance of the morbidity and mortality secondary to cancer. This entity currently represents the leading cause of death in males in the Basque Country and the second most prevalent cause in women, after cardiovascular disease.
It also represent the leading cause of years of potential life lost, reflecting the effect of the disease on life expectancy in terms of premature death.
The cancer research area encompasses several different research groups in our centre, which over recent years have been continuously developing their activity. The scope of their work includes all aspects of all types of solid malignant tumours and blood cancers, from epidemiological characteristics to biological and clinical features. The aim of the different research units is to carry out research on cancer at the basic, applied and clinical levels. Given the nature of our institution as a healthcare provider, most of the activity is to be focused on translational research, promoting a rich and productive interaction between basic biomedical sciences and applied oncology, in order that results directly benefit patients and society as a whole. We aim to achieve this through excellence in research and seeking to be competitive with other centres at the national and international levels.