PANCCUN includes the Oncogenes and Effector Targets group (OnTARGET) led by Dr. Silve Vicent and Dr. Mariano Ponz, as well as the Tumor Evasion and New Targets group led by Dr. Juan Dubrot. PANCCUN focuses on identifying new molecular targets in pancreatic cancer and cholangiocarcinoma, and discovering innovative therapeutic strategies aimed at improving their treatment. Complementarily, it seeks to understand the mechanisms intrinsic to the tumor cell and those related to the tumor microenvironment (TMA) by which tumors are able to resist and evade current treatments (chemotherapy, targeted therapies and immunotherapy).
Our studies are based on a multimodal approach that includes functional genomics techniques, single cell transcriptomics, mouse genetics, in vitro and xenograft models, and analysis of human cancer samples and clinical parameters. In addition, we work with organoids (3D organotypic culture) of primary human and murine cells, as well as cell lines.
From the clinical-care point of view, we have a multidisciplinary group with extensive experience in molecular diagnostics (CIMALABS, cytopathology), hepatobiliary surgery (arterial resection in PDAC, laparoscopy), echoendoscopy (for example, obtaining samples for EMT studies), endocrine/nutrition oncology, and radiotherapy (including protons).
We have clinical trials for PDAC in 1L and 2L. Also availability of early trials with different types of drugs (targeted, immuno…) with cohorts in PDAC. We also have proprietary industry-funded trials in PDAC, with significant translational burden on patient samples.
The group is associated with CIBERonc (CB16/12/00443), the European network PRECODE (Pancreatic Cancer Organoids) and the European Network for the Study of Cholangiocarcinoma (ENSCCA).
The Hepatobiliopancreatic Surgery Unit of the Hospital Universitario de La Princesa is a clinical group formed by hepatobiliopancreatic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, interventional radiologists, gastroenterologists, and pathologists who work together in a multidisciplinary manner in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with hepatobiliopancreatic pathology and have a special dedication to patients with pancreatic cancer.
The goal of our unit is to provide personalized treatment for pancreatic cancer, offering the best available treatment to each of our patients. We have extensive experience in the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to pancreatic pathology, such as pancreatic cancer, neuroendocrine tumors and cystic lesions, among others. In addition, a large number of communications have been presented at national and international congresses and publications, as well as participation in clinical research projects in collaboration with other groups.
The main research areas of the group are:
- Surgical treatment of pancreatic carcinoma and its complications: pancreatic fistula.
- Minimally invasive approaches to hepatobiliopancreatic pathology.
- Identification of prognostic and predictive factors for response to chemotherapy.
- Impact of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in subjects with pancreatic cancer.
- Evaluation of quality of life in patients undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer.
In our group we develop original projects and collaborations with other research groups. At the clinical and experimental level, our efforts are directed to the study of pancreatic pathology, including pancreatic cancer.
Of interest to ALIPANC, our clinical objectives are the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the identification of predisposing factors. In this regard, we are coordinating an initiative (Pancreadix) in collaboration with Amadix (Advanced Marker Discovery, SL) that aims to identify serological markers of pancreatic cancer, including microRNAs. In addition, with Amadix we are participating in a multicenter project that seeks to use artificial intelligence to establish an early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
At the basic experimental level, we studied some factors associated with pancreatic oncogenesis and determinants of neoplastic aggressiveness.
We are currently working on a project studying CFTR dysfunction in pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) and its implication in fibroinflammatory pancreatic pathology. We isolated CEPs from mice and studied CFTR expression levels. Using CFTR-KO mice, we compared the biological behavior of CEPs (gene expression, proliferation capacity, migration and invasiveness, autophagic flux and resistance to apoptosis, interaction with macrophages, etc.) with CEPs isolated from normal mice.
In collaboration with the group of Dr. Eva Vaquero (IDIBAPS) and Dr. Ibane Abasolo (VHIR) want to study therapeutic alternatives to reverse the pathological effects related to CFTR dysfunction.
At the moment the members of our group are assigned to Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR) and to the Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLleida), where we are still building a Pancreas Unit in collaboration with other specialists.
Dr. Ángela Lamarca is a Medical Oncologist (MD, PhD, MSc), specialized in gastrointestinal malignancies (hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) and neuroendocrine tumors (NET)). He completed his training in Medical Oncology (including his PhD) in Spain (Hospital Universitario La La Salto, Madrid). He moved to The Christie NHS Foundation Trust (Manchester, UK) in 2013, where he completed a 4-year fellowship program in HPB and NET. Dr. Lamarca has a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology of Cancer and a second Master’s degree in Biostatistics. She was awarded the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award in 2017 and was appointed Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in May 2018, where she practiced until May 2022, when she returned. to Madrid (Spain; Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz) to continue his clinical and research activities in BPH and NET. Dr. Angela Lamarca is currently a member of the ESMO Council, chair of the ESMO Press and Media Affairs Working Group and a member of the ESMO Gastrointestinal Cancer Faculty Group, Department of Upper Digestive. She is also chair of the EORTC Hepatobiliary Gastrointestinal Cancer Group and a member of the ENETS Advisory Board and the ENS-CCA Steering Committee. His main interest in the field of pancreatic cancer is based on the development of biomarkers for personalized treatment and the design of clinical treatments. trials aimed at improving treatment options for future patients.
Here, Dr. Javier Martínez-Useros has been working on a full contract basis since the research group moved from the Clínica Universidad de Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) to the FIIS-FJD in 2012. Dr. Javier Martínez-Useros is fully devoted to applied and translational research. research on gastroenteropancreatic tumors, especially pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). His research focuses, on the one hand, on the discovery of early diagnostic biomarkers detectable by liquid biopsies. On the other hand, its objective is to find new therapeutic targets and novel treatments to improve the response rate and survival of cancer patients. In this sense, Dr. Javier Martínez-Useros has 45 scientific articles published in high impact journals (Cancer Cell, Br J Cancer, Intl J Cancer, Cancers, J Clin Med, etc.). He is also principal investigator of a project for a novel treatment strategy based on exosomes as chemocarriers (https://aespanc.es/ganadores-5a-beca-carmen-delgado-miguel-perez-mateo/), and has been awarded multiple national project grants (PEJ-2020-TL/BMD-19339; (PEJD-2018-PRE/BMD-8398). Academically, he is Associate Professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and has directed 2 PhD Theses (2 more in progress), 27 master projects and is currently a member of the Animal Welfare Committee of the FIIS-FJD.
The group has worked on initiatives to promote hospital care quality, clinical trials with drugs (I-III), prehabilitation in patients with localized disease and collaboration with other institutions (IMDEA).
It is a multidisciplinary group dedicated mainly to healthcare activities that works in close collaboration with the biobank. Research activities are embedded in the daily clinical activity.