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Monitoring senescence upon chemotherapy

In the cancer context, senescence has been repeatedly considered as a tumor suppressor mechanism. However, accumulating evidence have indicated that senescent cells can also have a pro-tumorigenic role, since the specific inhibition of factors secreted by these cells resulted in a reduction of tumor growth, supporting the idea that senescent cells contribute to tumor progression in advanced stages of the disease. Importantly, several chemotherapies and radiotherapies, which are designed to specifically target proliferating cells, can induce senescence. Our main objective is to generate in vitro and in vivo tools that allow us to know whether senescent cells could work as a therapeutic target against relapse in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

People involved: Joan Balibrea​, Laura Yera, Mariia Sydorenko, Cristina Guardia, David Olivares
Collaborators: Tomás Navarro, MD and Elisabetta Mereu, PhD 
Funding agencies: ASEICA +queuntrail​

Project Progression

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Defining new biomarkers for breast cancer

The main concern that breast cancer research is facing is the heterogeneity of this disease, which means that two patients with the same type of cancer can have such a different cellular composition that it becomes unrealistic to choose the same treatment for both. With this project, we aim to identify reliable human biomarkers for the three types of mammary epithelial cells, which allow us to subclassify tumors more precisely. Based on analysis of single cell RNA-sequencing combined with the use of human breast cancer samples, we will be able to refine the diagnosis of different breast cancer subtypes.

People involved: Daniel Ortega, David Olivares​, Marta Casado, Eva Musulén

Collaborators: Elisabetta Mereu, PhD 

Funding agencies: Fundación FERO with the contribution of ghd

Project Progression

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Tracing the cellular origin of breast tumors

Studies based on lineage tracing experiments have shown that the mammary gland epithelium is self-maintained by three independent cellular populations: luminal ER-negative, luminal ER-positive and basal cells. Interestingly, upon different stressful situations such as transplantation, oncogene activation or cellular ablation adult committed cells can de-differentiate acquiring multipotent capacity in vivo. ​This project aims to examine whether multipotent stem cells are present in breast tumors by monitoring the three different mammary cell compartments separately in different murine breast cancer models. We strongly believe that elucidating the genetic signatures underlaying cellular identity, lineage commitment and cellular plasticity will definitely help to better understand breast cancer heterogeneity. 

People involved: Elena Vinuesa, Daniel Ortega, David Olivares​

Funding agencies: RETOS I+D 2020; PIF-SALUT 2021-2024 (PERIS)

Project Progression

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Tumor heterogeneity comprehension for an improved diagnosis and treatment choice for TNBC

This project focuses on studying how to apply personalized medicine to breast cancer patients diagnosed with a triple negative subtype. Our main goal is identifying new biomarkers that allow us to further define which cells within a tumor respond better to current treatments, which are more prone to metastasize, etc. Moreover, the characterization of new therapeutic targets will permit the development of personalized strategies letting more breast cancer patients be considered 'suitable' for the administration of new targeted therapies. ​ 

People involved: Cristina Guardia, Daniel Ortega, David Tébar, David Olivares​

Collaborators: Mireia Margelí, MDPedro L. Fernández, MD; Ginés Luengo, PhD

Funding agencies: Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer AECC

Project Progress

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