Predictive Markers of Response
Within the Solid Tumors Program, our group has a highly translational research vocation, which makes it possible to discover aspects with direct clinical application.
Of particular importance is the detection and validation of biomarkers that can provide a prognosis of survival and predict the response to treatments for lung cancer, the most common type of cancer in the developed world and the one that causes the highest number of deaths each year.
In clinical applications, both types of biomarkers make it possible to select patients for different types of therapeutic programs, such as patients with localized tumors, and for the different options of target-specific cytotoxic agents in patients with metastatic disease. These markers include inhibitor of cellular differentiation protein 1 (Id1), expression of thymidylate synthase and expression of ERCC1. We are also validating the prognostic and predictive value of the count of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) at diagnosis and the change in the count during treatment in patients diagnosed with stage-IV adenocarcinoma of the lung.
Particularly valuable experimentation tools include cell lines derived from primary lung tumors in patients seen by us in the Oncology Department of Clínica Universidad de Navarra; informed consent forms were signed before these biological samples were obtained and used and each research project with human samples is approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee (CREC).
Finally, we are particularly interested in developing animal models of visceral metastases of non-small cell lung cancer, using tumor cells derived from our own patients, to study the potential involvement of the tumor microenvironment in favoring the process of metastasis in this type of tumor.