1. Predictive markers and diagnostics in solid tumors based on techniques advanced molecular: Our concern continues to be to establish the bridge between basic and clinical research by applying new technologies that help to make therapeutic decisions. Our work focuses on obtaining new markers that may be susceptible to their use in diagnosis and as predictive markers of response to drugs of different neoplasms (MAMACAN and TERPERAN projects based on epithelial-mesenchymal transition molecules such as Collagen XIalfa1 or CCR9).
2. Incorporation of the technology of massive sequencing (Next Generation Sequencing):
The task of diagnosing neoplastic pathology goes from making determinations on a single molecule to panels of genes with repercussions on the therapy to be applied. We have incorporated to the armamentarium of the group the two most powerful technologies at present in this sense as it is that of Illumina and that of ThermoFisher with which besides giving service to the hospital routine we provide collaborations to other units in research projects
3. We incorporated the diagnosis of hereditary cancer associated with mutations in BRCA1 and 2 with new technologies based on massive sequencing, decreasing the number of extrahospitalary referrals and the waiting time of the patients of the hereditary cancer unit of the Oncology Service.
4. Application of the results obtained and implementation in the clinical care routine. The results of basic research take a long time until they can be used in practice. Our mission is to speed up the use of biomarkers that have already proven their usefulness in assistance. Thus, we have already incorporated several of the most prevalent tumors such as lung cancer (mutations in EGFR, ALK and ROS1), breast cancer (Her2neu overexpression), colon cancer (mutations in KRAS, NRAS and BRAF) and brain tumors ( allelic losses of 1p and 19q regions and methylation of the MGMT promoter), malignant melanoma (mutations in the BRAF oncogene) and other tumor types where there are treatments that improve the quality of life and survival of patients.
5. Development of Liquid Biopsy: The monitoring of patients with cancer is essential due to the existence of new treatments and the development of resistance to them. It is necessary to detect these resistances in the earliest possible way. We have implemented BEAMING technology to diagnose mutations in colon cancer in free DNA in plasma with a sensitivity of 0.01% allelic frequency. We also have other technologies for diagnosis in free DNA in plasma for lung cancer, especially aimed at detecting the resistance mutation T790M
6. Development of Immunotherapy in cancer. Immunotherapy is one of the most promising fields in new cancer therapies. The use of the so-called "companion tests" are mandatory according to the regulatory agencies for the prescription. We have developed all the markers associated with specific anti PD1 and anti PD-L1 therapies. For this, we are involved in the clinical establishment and in new models of anti PD-L1 antibodies SP142, SP263, 22C3 and 28-8. The availability of all antibodies allows the participation in new clinical trials in new tumor models
7. We actively collaborate with groups from Cantabria, Spain and international in several lines of work. With the University of Cantabria with active projects in relation to Legal Medicine (utility of DNA extraction methods in old samples) and the IBBTEC in Genómica (Dr Ignacio Varela with several projects in execution using massive sequencing procedures). With Dr. Carmen Álvarez from IDIVAL in the project for the development of nanoparticle-based vaccines against melanoma. The collaboration with national research groups is mainly with the CIMA of the University of Navarra in its line of oncology led by Professor Luis Montuenga in the field of lung cancer and with the University of Oviedo and various hospitals of the national network in the role of the epithelium-mesenchyme transition in breast cancer. We receive rotating professionals from different hospitals in the national network to deepen their teaching. The collaboration extends to European countries as well as to the group of Dr Julian Downward of the London Research Institute investigating factors of resistance to drugs that inhibit tyrosine kinase activity in lung cancer. We also collaborated with MD Anderson Hospital in a neuroendocrine tumor evaluation project and its new classification (Dr. Cesar Moran)