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The Oncotrail charity run will fund a research project for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

26 January 2024
  • The announcement was made today at the presentation of the 11th edition of this charity event, which will be held on 5 and 6 October in Palafrugell.
  • In the last edition, nearly 389,000 euros were raised, of which 45,000 will go to this research project and 145,000 to improvements in hospitals in the Girona area.
  • The rest of the funds will be used to support the care programmes and services that the Fundació Oncolliga Girona offers to cancer patients and their families.

The Oncolliga Girona Foundation will finance with 90,000 euros a research project of the Institute of Biomedical Research of Girona. Josep Trueta (IDIBGI) whose objective is to validate a metabolomic signature for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The funds to finance this research will come from donations collected through the Oncotrail solidarity race, with two contributions of 45,000 euros for the 2023 and 2024 editions.

A significant part of the donations (45,000 euros) will be the first contribution to the research project on pancreatic cancer being carried out by a team of researchers from IDIBGI's General and Digestive Surgery group, linked to the General and Digestive Surgery Service of the Hospital Dr. Josep Trueta. The project has been defended by Dr. Ernest Castro, deputy of the Hepatobiliopancreatic Surgery Unit of this service.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose due to the lack of specificity of the initial symptoms. This means that most diagnoses are made at an advanced or metastatic stage of the disease and, therefore, radical surgery, the only possible curative treatment, cannot be resorted to.

The hypothesis of the research project presented by Dr Castro is that there are metabolites in pancreatic cancer patients that can be measured and used as biomarkers, which would allow early diagnosis of the disease among the population at risk and even population screening. The researchers hope that the results of the research will generate an effective diagnostic tool to detect the disease at an early stage, leading to increased survival.

The announcement was made today during the presentation of the eleventh edition of the Oncotrail, which will be held on 5 and 6 October in Palafrugell. The presentation was made by the director of Oncotrail, Lluís Comet, and Jordi Alsina, representative of the Agrupació Excursionista Palafrugell, who were accompanied by the president of Oncolliga, Paqui Badosa; the councillor for Sports of Palafrugell, Isidre Tenas, and the deputy for Education and Youth of Girona Provincial Council, Mònica Alcalà.

A large part of the presentation was devoted to explaining in detail how the 388,845 euros raised in the 2023 edition thanks to donations from the participating teams have been applied.

Improvements in hospitals

The bulk of the funds collected (145,653.8 euros) went to hospitals in Girona and the ICO Girona to improve the comfort and diagnosis of cancer patients. Of these, 50,723 euros went to the Dr. Josep Trueta Hospital for the purchase of twenty seats for the neurosurgery and gynaecology units and 36,438 euros to the ICO Girona, for the renovation of beds in the transplant area on the eighth floor and the twelve-month rental of virtual reality glasses for inpatients. Contributions were also received by Palamós Hospital (36,060 euros); Figueres Hospital (17,391 euros); Olot Hospital (7,769 euros); Campdevànol Hospital (16,341 euros); Blanes Hospital (12,347 euros) and the Salus Infirmorum Clinic (3,588 euros).

Support for Oncolliga's care services

The third beneficiary of Oncotrail's donations will be the Fundació Oncolliga Girona itself. Part of the funds (15,000 euros) will be used to finance the Nutrition and Cancer Counselling and Sexuality in Oncology Clinic programmes that were set up last year; another part (22,905 euros) will go towards the purchase of 25 articulated beds. 905 euros) to the acquisition of 25 articulated beds to meet the growing demand for this material within the home loan service offered by the organisation; and the rest (114,443.13 euros) to provide continuity to the other care services offered to cancer patients and their families: psychological support, physiotherapy, oncological aesthetics, wig bank, etc.

The 2024 edition, on its way

The Oncotrail is a sporting and charitable challenge that is run in teams and consists of a 100 km run along the trails of the Costa Brava and the Gavarres, starting and finishing in Palafrugell. Each team must make a minimum donation of 1,000 euros in order to take part in the event and, thanks to the collaboration of volunteers and sponsors, all the money raised goes entirely to the charity objective of the challenge: to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families. Since the first edition in 2013, 2,360,000 euros have been raised.

The sporting and charity event has been growing over the years, to the point that the demand for teams wishing to participate far exceeds the number of places available, which for logistical and safety reasons has been limited to 300 teams. For this reason, the organisers have decided to implement a new registration system whereby all places will be allocated by lottery. The aim is to avoid computer crashes and to give everyone an equal chance.

More information at the Oncolliga’s website.


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