Appointment of Aleix Prat, Group leader
Smooth seas do not a skilful sailor make

Current research

Problem

Cancer is a very heterogeneous disease, both clinically and biologically. Over the last decade, the survival of cancer patients has improved thanks to the introduction of targeted therapies. Even so, there are still patients who do not respond to current treatments or who develop resistance. Therefore, it is necessary to classify cancer in subgroups, identify predictive response biomarkers and new therapeutic targets to combat resistance to current treatments.

Approach

The group uses genomic and molecular data to guide the design of clinical trials and the development of biomarkers (elements that allow for the evaluation of the response to a drug). Based on preclinical cancer models, it studies molecular mechanisms of sensitivity and pharmacological resistance. All of this should help it identify better treatments for patients with solid tumours.

Impact

The approach starts from the observations obtained from patients: the group transfers these to the laboratory, where it analyses them in detail to identify new biomarkers and therapies. Promising preclinical results give rise to new clinical trials, thus the group returns to clinical practice, in which it explores whether these promising results are truly valid for patients.

Thanks to these studies, it is hoping to obtain more personalised treatments for patients with cancer.