Information for Participants

What is the GCAT Project?

The GCAT'Genomes for Life, project, Prospective Study of the Genomes of Catalonia is an ambitious biomedical research project with scientific, medical and social goals.   It will study the genetic and environmental factors that lead to the appearance of chronic diseases.  Many of these diseases such as: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular or respiratory disease affect very many of us eventually and are the major causes of death in developed countries.  They also represent a huge cost to the health system due to their chronic and long-term nature.

Why carry out the GCAT Project?

The project aims to advance our knowledge of diseases and their prevention, diagnostics, prognostics and treatment.   In order to do this, it will need to collect blood samples and clinical history of a huge number of individual participants and analyse vast quantities of data in order to reach conclusions about what affects our risk of developing particular diseases.  

What will the GCAT Project do?

Scientists working on the GCAT Project will study the relationship between genetic variation (what we are born with) and environmental factors (where we live and what we do) and diseases and they will also look at how the two types of factors interact.  They aim to find out why do some people develop diseases and others do not and to find ways to predict who will get ill. The project will search for biological markers that will help doctors in the future identify who is at risk, diagnose diseases early and design a treatment not only to cure the disease, but also tailored to that person.

The project requires the collection of clinical data and blood samples from 20,000 people resident in Catalonia in order to study them to find the genetic and environmental causes of cancer and other chronic diseases.  The samples and data collected are extraordinarily valuable and necessary to carry out successful long-term research.   Many of the advances in recent years have been due to studies of this type; similar initiatives are underway in other European countries.

We are looking for volunteers to give a blood sample and allow access to their clinical data (confidentiality and data protection are strictly observed) and allow us to make a follow-up in future years.

What will the GCAT Project do with the participants' data?

The data and samples from individuals collaborating in the study will be kept in the PMPPC-IGTP Biobank with the aim of carrying out biomedical research.   The data will be stored under the custody of the Program for Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer at the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (PMPPC-IGTP) and the Blood and Tissue Bank of Catalonia (BST). 

It is important to note that the samples and clinical details are identified only by a code: confidentiality is strictly kept according to Spanish data protection law (one of the strictest in Europe) and European biobanking guidelines.  Individuals participating will not receive personalized health reports; the results and conclusions will serve to improve health and medical care for future generations.

Where is the GCAT Project?

The GCAT Project is coordinated by the Program for Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer at the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (PMPPC-IGTP).  The PMPPC-IGTP is a public non-profit making biomedical research centre dedicated to studying cancer in order to improve its detection and treatment.  The project is being carried out in collaboration with the central Blood and Tissue Bank of Catalonia (BST) and the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia.