Appointment of Jordi Camps, Junior group leader (R3B)
Understanding the genome of tumor cells is fundamental to explain why a normal cell becomes cancer

Current research

Problem

Most tumor cells are characterized by high levels of abnormalities in genes and chromosomes, which favor uncontrolled and invasive cell growth, which can lead to the appearance of metastases. The goal of our group is to understand the mechanisms of genomic instability and tumor heterogeneity, and to use the genetic information to discover molecular markers that allow us to improve the prognosis and prediction of response to treatments in bowel cancer.

Approach
 

Currently, genome analysis benefits from the development and application of multi-omics techniques aimed at detecting anything from chromosomal rearrangement to individual changes to nucleotides, and the impact of these on the cell’s gene expression. By using these techniques, we can characterize the genomic profiles of primary bowel cancers and identify cellular pathways and molecular targets and then model the functional mechanisms involved in the carcinogenesis of bowel cancer.


Impact

The study of genomic alterations and gene expression has allowed us to identify cellular and molecular markers in order to stratify patients with bowel cancer according to the probability of developing metastases, and to determine which patients are less likely to respond to treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These molecular tools will be help oncologists to make decisions regarding the course and treatment of patients with this cancer.