Adoptive Cell Therapy
Adoptive Cell Therapy of cancer is a type of immunotherapy based on the use of agents that enhance the immune cells of patients to stimulate specific anti-tumoral responses. The use of genetically modified T cells and in particular T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CAR), is emerging as one of the most innovative and promising advanced therapies for the treatment of cancer since decades. CARs are synthetic chimeric receptors designed to combine in a single molecule the specificity of an antibody, which recognizes surface molecules in tumor cells, with the effector mechanism of a T lymphocyte. These engineered lymphocytes (CART cells) release cytokines in response to the antigen-carrying cells and exert the lysis of specific target cells.
With two approved products in the market, CART therapies have shown spectacular efficacy in some hematological cancers such as acute B cell lymphoblastic leukemia and non-hodgkin lymphoma. However, current treatments have not proven to be as effective for other tumor types as myeloma multiple or acute myeloid leukemia, with a significant number of partial/non-responder patients and with a significant rate of relapse after complete remission. For this reason, our group is focused on the identification of new tumor antigens as targets for CART therapies, in the development of optimized CARs, as well as in the characterization of the molecular mechanisms involved in the responses to these treatments.
We work closely with other researchers in the Hematology-Oncology Program with a main focus on translational research and clinical trials that explore innovative treatments for these diseases. Our program is linked to the Center for Biomedical Research in the Cancer Network (CIBERONC) of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), as well as to numerous national and international academic and research centers.
The objectives of this line of research are:
Improve therapeutic strategies based on CART cells through the identification of specific antigens, the development of optimized CARs, and the evaluation of their therapeutic efficacy.
Understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the efficacy and/or resistance to CART therapies. For this, we combine functional analysis with multi-omic technologies, genetically modified animal models and multiparametric flow cytometry.