Cancer is not a single disease but rather a combination of more than 200 pathologies that arise from the normal cells in our bodies, through complex genetic and molecular alterations in a stepwise manner. The laboratories of the Cancer Department are focused on understanding these molecular, cellular, and genetic alterations that lead to oncogenic events, intending to describe the biological mechanisms involved in the initiation, development, and progression of malignant tumors.
We combine a high knowledge in basic research with a strong translational vocation, to produce better treatments, potential cures, and prevention strategies for many different types of cancer. This research effort allows us to discover new biomarkers for diagnosis, prevention, and therapeutic intervention in cancer, facilitating the translation of our discoveries to a clinical context.
Our research teams have come together around common cancer types affecting our society, such as colon, breast, thyroid, prostate, pancreatic, and lung cancers. Transversely to the different cancer types, we investigate key molecular oncogenic processes such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis, cell cycle regulation, and cell migration and invasion (metastasis). In addition, a great effort is also devoted to understanding the molecular mechanisms by which tumor cells develop resistance to conventional therapies such as radio and chemotherapy.
All this research requires a multidisciplinary approach that combines the use of genetically modified animal models, innovative technologies in cellular and molecular biology, supported by computational biology.
Finally, we have established numerous scientific collaborations between IIBM researchers, clinical investigators, and physicians to transfer the basic knowledge generated into clinical practice.