G-C 14 Resistance, chemotherapy and predictive biomarkers

Our group studies the molecular processes through which tumor cells develop resistance to chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) and melanoma (MLN). By identifying the factors responsible for this chemoresistance, the group aims to contribute to the discovery of biomarkers that will improve the selection of effective treatments and to the development of new therapeutic strategies. To achieve these goals, the group studies cell models of acquired resistance and analyzes gene or protein expression patterns as well as common genetic variants in genes that may be involved in the action of chemotherapy agents, using patient blood and/or tumor samples. The group's global objective is to optimize treatment to enhance prognosis and improve quality of life. The group is part of the recently launched research program ProCURE (PROgram against Cancer REsistance) from the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO). Eva Martinez-Balibrea, Jose Luis Manzano, Laura Layos, Cristina Bugés and Vicenç Ruiz de Porras are members of the PREDVHICO (2014 SGR 1494), which is a recognized stable research group by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Every year we organize the course "Investigación traslacional y neoplasias digestivas", directed by  Dr Manzano and Dr Martinez-Balibrea.  The course is free for undergraduate and masters students. Please see the links at the bottom of the page.

Research lines

Predictive biomarkers for treatment selection

  • To study somatic genetic polymorphisms within genes involved in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics processes affecting the effectiveness of a given chemotherapeutic drug or its related toxicity
  • To study tumor gene and/or protein expression patterns that could be associated with resistance to chemotherapy and that could serve as clinical biomarkers to select treatments

Development and study of in vitro models of acquired resistance to chemotherapy

  • To study changes in patterns of gene or protein expression and DNA-methylation associated with resistance acquisition by using high-throughput techniques
  • Elucidate the mechanisms responsible for resistance acquisition to chemotherapeutics and define new putative predictive biomarkers
  • To identify new ways of therapeutic intervention able to revert this chemoresistance