Research

Area 5

Translational genomics and targeted therapeutics in solid tumors

Strategic objectives

Use genomic or molecular data to guide clinical trial design and biomarker development and study molecular mechanisms of drug sensitivity in order to identify optimal treatment regimens for patients with solid tumors.

Main lines of research

Use genomic or molecular data to guide clinical trial design and biomarker development and study molecular mechanisms of drug sensitivity in order to identify optimal treatment regimens for patients with solid tumors.

Breast cancer

  1. To evaluate the impact of the identification of the intrinsic molecular subtypes of breast cancer in the clinical setting.
  2. To study the mechanisms of drug resistance and tumor progression in Luminal A and B breast cancer.
  3. To identify genomic biomarkers predictive of response to anti-HER2 drugs in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Colorectal cancer

  1. To evaluate intrinsic and acquired mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy and targeted agents in metastatic colorectal cancer, in the three genotypes (KRAS/NRAS mutant, BRAF mutant and triple-WT).
  2. To characterize epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes in resectable and metastatic pancreatic carcinoma and it’s correlation with drug resistance.

Urologic cancer

  1. To study the molecular mechanisms of resistance to taxanes and novel hormone-therapies in preclinical models, circulating tumor cells and patients with castration resistant prostate cancer.
  2. To investigate the role of the androgen receptor variants in epithelial to mesenchymal transition and progression and therapy resistance in castration resistant prostate cancer.
  3. To investigate mechanisms of resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy and identification of new therapeutic targets in renal cell carcinoma.

Lung cancer

  1. Validate novel molecular technologies to streamline the screening of targetable biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
  2. Identification of novel fusion gene variants in NSCLC: phenotypic characterization of targeted population and prospective clinical validation of their predictive value to targeted treatments.
  3. Characterize the “stroma-tumor cell” crosstalk in NSCLC and the role of tumor fibroblasts in the tumorigenesis of both major NSCLC subtypes: adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SQC). This project is being done in collaboration with Dr. Alcaraz at the UB, Hospital Clinic.

Emergent Group

Glioma and Neural Stem Cell Group

Nuria de la Iglesia

(IDIBAPS)

Our research group is devoted to applying developmental neurobiology knowledge to the study of gliomas, some of the most aggressive human tumors. Gliomas arise from a rare subpopulation of cells which have stem-like properties such as selfrenewal, multipotency and the ability to initiate a tumor upon serial transplantation. These so-called glioma initiating cells (GIC) share specific properties with neural stem cells (NSC), including the localization to specialized microenvironments within the brain that support their maintenance. This suggests that factors involved in either NSC maintenance or differentiation are likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of gliomas.

Our main lines of research are: 1)Identification and characterization of new factors involved in NSC maintenance and differentiation, with a special emphasis on factors that mediate the localization of NSC to their niches. 2) Functional characterization of the factors identified above in the initiation, maintenance and invasiveness of gliomas and 3) Design of new, alternative therapies for gliomas.