A first-rate treatment for glioblastoma and lung cancer

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Most non-small cell lung cancer patients are diagnosed with advanced disease. Unfortunately, there is currently no effective treatment and its prevalence is expected to keep rising in the next 10 years. Likewise, glioblastoma multiforme is a highly aggressive brain cancer with a low life expectancy of about 14 months. There have been no substantial advances to fight this disease in recent decades, resulting in an unmet medical need. The urgent social need to achieve emerging therapies that allow tackling these cancers is unquestionable.


  • To generate an anticancer drug directed at TRF1 protein, a bona fide target in cancer, that will be used to effectively treat glioblastoma and lung cancer.

Problem to Solve

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, while glioblastoma multiforme is the deadliest and most common type of brain tumour in adults. Despite recent progress in cancer drug discovery, current treatments for these highly aggressive tumours are not yet effective.


Our project proposes a new therapeutic strategy with a novel approach to induce telomeric DNA damage by targeting Telomere Repeat Binding factor 1 (TRF1), an essential protector of the integrity of telomeres.

Level of Innovation

The majority of tumours (85-90%) show telomerase activity, therefore inducing damage in telomeric DNA represents a promising therapy in the oncology drug pipeline. Our therapeutic approach will consist of the development of TRF1 inhibitors, which will be able to selectively and effectively eliminate tumour cells.


Project leader

María Blasco

Project leader

Project leader

Joaquín Pastor

Project manager

María Cruz Marín

Director of International Affairs

Carolina Pola

Head of Medicinal Chemistry Section

Sonia Martínez

PhD student, Telomeres and Telomerase Group

Leire Bejarano

Post-doctoral fellow

Giuseppe Bosso


Founder & CSO

Tamara Maes


Scientific Area


Business area


Research center

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas