Appointment of Manel Juan, Group leader
Immunogenetics is key to understanding many diseases of the immune system (including autoinflammation) and, as a result, to devising new therapies. Based on this “key”, our group proposes new immunotherapy approaches, particularly antitumor therapies

Current research

Problem

Genes are not just the basis of the functioning of living organisms but also define the immune system and, therefore, most human diseases. Immunogenetics is the basis for different treatments that are valid for many diseases, from autoinflammatory disorders to cancer.

The group uses immunogenetics particularly to generate its own cellular drugs in order to treat many of these diseases, starting with cancer using dendritic cells, TILs and CAR T cells.

Approach

The group’s research involves defining the molecular bases of certain diseases (especially problems at the genetic level), proposing a better diagnosis, and developing cellular immunotherapy strategies (the use of cells as treatment) in order to resolve the abnormal functioning of patients’ immune systems.

In the case of cancer, the immunotherapy developed by the group aims to restore the patients’ antitumor response, which makes it possible to control and even cure certain tumours.

Impact

After thousands of patients with genetic diseases have been diagnosed and hundreds treated with cellular immunotherapy, the aim of the group is to provide the hospital with therapeutic tools for patients who have no other options.

Specifically, the group intends for the Spanish Agency for Medicine and Medical Devices (AEMPS) to authorize the use of these cellular drugs to treat patients in whom their efficacy has been shown.