Appointment of Cristina Fillat, Group leader
Acquiring knowledge in order to transform and improve life, people and the world!

Current research

Problem

Changes in the genome of cells often cause disorders such as cancer or hereditary genetic diseases. A precise knowledge of these changes and their impact on pathophysiology helps us to better understand these diseases.

In addition, a knowledge of genetic alterations is very valuable for therapeutics, because it enables innovative, often sophisticated but highly specific therapies that seek maximum efficacy to be developed.

Approach

The group studies the molecular and cellular bases of pancreatic cancer, taking advantage of this knowledge to design new therapies based on the use of oncolytic adenoviruses. These viruses are capable of replicating, amplifying and disintegrating cancer cells selectively and activating a response from the immune system to attack the tumour. The group also investigates new therapeutic strategies based on gene therapy and/or gene editing, for the treatment of hereditary metabolic diseases.

Impact

Pancreatic cancer is a disease with a very poor prognosis: five years after diagnosis, only 7% of patients have survived. The research the group conducts allows it to advance in its knowledge of this tumour, in order to design and test new treatments to improve its progress.

In recent years, advances in gene therapy have provided new treatments for diseases that to date were incurable. In this sense, the group believes that the new gene therapy designs that it is developing will contribute towards responding to some of the hereditary metabolic diseases.