Appointment of Albert Morales, Group leader
We study the proteins involved in resistance to chemotherapy in order to offer patients with liver tumours better solutions

Current research

Problem

The introduction of molecular therapy is a great step forward in medicine that is not properly applied in the treatment of liver cancers, due to its complexity.

The poor efficiency of chemotherapy and development of resistance to treatment often lead to therapeutic failure.

Changes in the hepatic microenvironment during chronic liver disease promote the growth of primary liver tumours and the implantation of metastasis from other organs.

For this reason, it is necessary to test pharmacological therapies that combat resistance to treatment and attack metastasis in order to subsequently introduce them into clinical practice.

Approach

Chemotherapy promotes the development of cell alterations that give rise to resistance to treatment. Once identified, these can be treated with specific drugs.

In cell models and animals, the group identifies specific targets that condition the efficacy of treatment and make it possible to select the disease that best responds to chemotherapy.

There are therapies that combat the tumour microenvironment or immunotherapies that increase the efficacy of current chemotherapy on the liver tumour.

Impact

The group’s objectives are to identify markers that can anticipate the efficacy of the different treatments available for patients with liver tumours, and develop new therapies targeted at tumour microenvironment proteins and immunotherapy as an alternative to, or in combination with, current chemotherapy.