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Genitourinary and Cellular and Molecular Oncology


The Group on Genitourinary and Cellular and Molecular Oncology embraces a multidisciplinary team, composed by Molecular Biologists, geneticists, Urologists, Medical oncologists and pathologist, with a common goal of implementing precision medicine approaches to current clinical problems in various fields of Oncology.

Our interests in understanding the molecular basis of various types of cancer allow us to develop new therapeutic approaches and characterize molecular approaches to determine possible clinical responses in patients and mechanisms of resistance. Additionally, we develop new liquid biopsy techniques aimed to a more accurate diagnostic and prognostic tool for patient follow up.

Currently we are actively working on head and neck, urothelial, skin and lung tumors, although we also study particular aspects of breast, ovarian and prostate tumors. Our methodologies include, besides the common approaches shared with other biomedical research groups, several genomics and bioinformatics techniques and the development of accurate genetically engineered mouse models.

In the first group of approaches, we are currently characterizing samples from human patients and mouse models through NGS (panels or WES) or transcriptomics or epigenetics. The second line of technology allows us to introduce various oncogenic alterations in somatic cells of specific organs to reproduce the human pathology in an in vivo setting without modifying the other body systems (for instance the immunological system). This approach enables the characterization of cancer initiating cells and dissemination processes during cancer progression, either spontaneous or chemically induced.

Additionally, the comparative validation of these models (or cells or organoids derived from them) with human counterparts through genomic approaches, permits the development and testing of novel therapeutic approaches. Currently we are focused on molecularly targeted therapies, including oncogenic kinases and epigenetic targets, and their combination with clinical treatments or various immunotherapies.