In our recently created group we study PDAC tumor stem cells from a personalized medicine approach in close collaboration with clinicians from the Hospital Universitario Son Espases (HUSE). The presence of tumor stem cells with the capacity to regenerate the tumor after resection and adjuvant treatment appears to be a key factor in the poor prognosis of patients with PDAC. However, the oncogenic signaling pathways that maintain these tumor stem cells are poorly understood, a fact that hinders the development of better treatments.
Our interests focus on the study of oncogenic signaling and the microenvironment/microbiome on PDAC tumor stem cell biology and their resistance to treatment. To this end, we use CRISPR gene editing and other advanced gene editing methods on patient-derived organoids generated in collaboration with the Peritoneal Oncologic Surgery Unit (HUSE) and on cell lines.
In addition, we wanted to contribute to COVID19 research by applying our knowledge to study host factors involved in increased susceptibility and severity to COVID19 using lentiviral pseudovirus models and gene editing of primary cultures.
The main lines of research of the group are:
- Study of oncogenic addiction in PDAC tumor stem cells by gene editing.
- Personalized/predictive medicine using patient-derived organoids: Predicting the spectrum of patient response to adjuvant chemotherapy in PDAC.
- Study of mechanisms of resistance to adjuvant treatment in PDAC using patient-derived organoids. Study of the intratumoral microenvironment/microbiome.
- Study of host factors involved in susceptibility to infection by different SARS-Cov-2 strains.
- Identification of predictive biomarkers of susceptibility to SARS-Cov-2 infection.