The Group Badalona Applied Research Group in Oncology (B·ARGO) is a new transversal organisation which encompasses the translational and clinical research that has been carried out for many years at IGTP, the Germans Trias University Hospital (HUGTiP) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) Badalona at HUGTiP. The group consists of senior researchers, junior researchers and fellows from the IGTP and personnel of the Medical Oncology Department of the ICO who are affiliated to the IGTP.

This multidisciplinary group is made up of over 30 professionals working on different aspects of research. Its mission is to be a translational research group of excellence that contributes to the application of personlized oncology and its vision is to maintain an integrated cancer research and healthcare system that optimizes the management of cancer patients and improves the length and quality of their lives.

The main objective of the B∙ARGO is to fill the existing gap between clinical and basic research, identifying new strategies, emerging from basic research and applying them in clinical practice. Its transversal objectives are:

  • To identify predictive biomarkers for tailored treatment, including classical therapies, targeted therapies and immunotherapy.
  • To develop and/or implement preclinical models for the study of response and resistance mechanisms to these therapies.
  • To identify new putative therapeutic targets.
  • To translate findings into clinical practice (new clinical trials) to promote precision oncology.

Keywords: Translational oncology, biomarkers, preclinical models, precision oncology.

Badalona Applied Research Group in Oncology (B·ARGO)

Group leader

  • Ricard Mesía Nin, MD, PhD
    Ricard Mesía Nin, MD, PhD

    Ricard Mesía Nin, MD, PhD

    Ricard Mesia Nin is a medical oncologist (1994, UAB) and Doctor in Medicine (2014, UB). He is the head of the Medical Oncology Service of ICO Badalona since 2017, and director of Badalona Applied Research Group in Oncology (B∙ARGO), the translational research group of the Service at IGTP. He is the president of the Head and Neck Cancer Cooperative Group (TTCC), and his long track record and experience in this neoplasm, as well as in oncology research, is evidenced by his publications. Dr Mesia has contributed to more than 150 original manuscripts, with a total Impact Factor of 376.36, h-index of 38. His publications have received more than 10.000 citations, with a Field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) of 3.8 according to Scopus. It is also worth mentioning his experience in scientific transfer activities, contributing in several projects in the innovation field.

    Contact: rmesia(ELIMINAR)
    ORCID: 0000-0002-3785-3563

  • Anna Martínez Cardús, MD, PhD
    Anna Martínez Cardús, MD, PhD

    Anna Martínez Cardús, MD, PhD

    Anna Martínez Cardús is Biology graduate (2002, UB) and Doctor in Medicine (2008, UAB). She is the scientific coordinator of the Badalona Applied Research Group in Oncology (B·ARGO), a translational research group at IGTP of ICO-Badalona Medical Oncology Service, leading B∙ARGO together with Dr Ricard Mesia. Her experience in translational research in oncology is widely demonstrated in her publications, contributing to more than 50 original manuscripts, being 35 of them in the first quartile (Q1) according to JCR, with a total Impact Factor of 376.36, h-index of 29. Her publications have received almost a total of 3,000 citations, with a Field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) of 1.5 according to Scopus. It is also worth mentioning her experience in scientific transfer activities, contributing in transfer to the clinic of the EPICUP platform (Lancet Oncology; 2016), being hired as scientific advisor during the first year of product launch.

    Contact: amartinezc(ELIMINAR)
    ORCID: 0000-0002-3937-8794 


Medical oncologists; Heads of research line
Maria Saigí Morguí, MD, PhD(ELIMINAR)
Albert Font Pous, MD, PhD(ELIMINAR)
Mireia Margelí Vila, MD, PhD(ELIMINAR)
Teresa Moran Bueno, MD, PhD(ELIMINAR)
José Luis Manzano Mozo, MD, PhD(ELIMINAR)
Albert Font Pous, MD PhD(ELIMINAR)
Marga Romeo Marin, MD, PhD(ELIMINAR)
Cinta Hierro Carbó, MD, PhD(ELIMINAR)

Translational research manager
Laia Minguell Martinez

Medical oncologists; Translational researchers
Carme Balañá Quinteros, MD, PhD
Beatriz Cirauqui Cirauqui, MD, PhD
Núria Mulet Margalef, MD PhD
Maria Ochoa de Olza, MD PhD

Clinical research manager
Facundo Garcia Pallotti

Medical oncologists; Clinical researchers
Cristina Bugés Sanchez, MD, PhD
Olatz Etxaniz, MD PhD
Elisabet Mompradé, MD, PhD
Enric Carcereny Costa, MD
Laura Layos Garcia, MD
Iris Teruel Garcia, MD
Ainhoa Hernandez Gonzalez, MD
Pau Guillen Sentís, MD
Assumpció Lopez Paradís, MD
Anna Pous Badia, MD
Laia Boronat Ruiz, MD

Radiation oncologist; Clinical researcher
Silvia Comas, MD, PhD

Research associate
Vicenç Ruiz de Porras Fontdevila, PhD

Head of statistics unit
Anna Esteve Gomez, PhD

Medical oncologists; Postdoctoral researchers
Eudald Felip Falgàs, MD, PhD
Milana Bergamino Sirven, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral researcher
Adrià Bernat Peguera, PhD

Medical oncologists; PhD researchers
Marta Domènech Viñolas, MD
Sofia España Fernandez, MD
Marc Cucurull Salamero, MD
Angèlica Ferrando Díez, MD
Lucía Notario Rincon, MD
Juan Carlos Pardo, MD
Andrea Plaja Saladrich

PhD researchers
Carme Solé Blanch, MSc
Marta Costa Garcia, MSc

Laboratory technician
Maria Fernández Saorin

Andrea Gonzalez Valencia, MSc

Research lines

Classical therapy: Chemotherapy

Study of molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to these agents, which are still crucial in oncological treatment, determining predictive biomarkers of effectiveness through pre-clinical models and patient cohorts.


Identify new biomarkers of efficacy to this type of therapies for the best selection of patients, as well as the mechanisms associated with the appearance of resistance.

Targeted therapy

Tipify new biomarkers associated with resistance, to improve therapeutic selection and to be able to resensitize the tumor by identifying new effective therapeutic targets at the refractory stage of treatment.

Stable research lines

  • IMMUNOLUNG: Identification of immunotherapy associated biomarkers in lung cancer.
  • iPARPResist: Identification of biomarkers of resistance to PARP inhibitors in gynaecological cancer and other tumours.
  • Precision oncology un urologic tumors: Identification of resistance biomarkers.
  • RESIST: Overcoming resistance mechanisms to CDK4/6 inhibitors in breast cancer.
  • Resistance to target therapy in BRAF-mutated melanoma: selection of the best therapeutic option in front of immunotherapy in advanced disease and adjuvant setting.
  • The INSPECTA project: Implementation of a comprehensive translational research platform for early clinical trials.
  • VAL-GLIO-THERINT: Validation of genomic alterations in glioblastoma: looking for weak spots for therapeutic intervention.

Emerging research lines initiated during 2023

  • Deciphering the STAT3 signaling: Identification of predictive biomarkers for selecting the best immunotherapy-based therapeutic strategy in head and neck tumours.
  • ONCODRIVERS: Monitoring biomarkers along treatment to detect biomarkers of resistance acquisition to targeted therapy in a pancancer setting.
  • The INTRIGA project: INtegrative Translational Research In Gastric cAncer.
  • Study of the effect of microenvironment in therapeutics of colorectal cancer.
  • BTC-CROMA: Study of biomarkers associated to treatment outcome in cholangiocarcinoma.

Active projects

Point-of-care in vitro diagnostic device for the screening of colorectal cancer using tumour derived extracellular vesicles

PI: José Luis Manzano
Funding agency: Proyectos de colaboración público-privada - Ministerio de economía, indústra y competitividad - Gobierno de España
Agency code: CPP2021-008730
Duration: 01/09/2022 - 31/08/2025

Proyecto CPP2021-008730 financiado por:

Proyecto CPP2021-008730 financiado por MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033 y por la Unión Europea NextGenerationEU/ PRTR

HERMION-3: Impact of tumor heterogeneity on resistance to chemoimmunotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Relevance of the STAT3 pathway

PIs: Beatriz Cirauqui Cirauqui, Ester Ballana Guix
Funding agency: II Beca "Ayudas para investigación traslacional del grupo TTCC"
Duration: 01/06/2024 - 31/12/2026

Selección de la mejor terapia en melanoma BRAF mutado: impacto de la heterogeneidad tumoral en la validación de marcadores y ede la plasticidad celular en la adquisición de resistencia a terapia dirigida

PIs: Anna Martinez Cardús, José Luis Manzano Mozo
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI23/00421
Duration: 01/01/2024 - 31/12/2026

Modulation of immune function in metastatic hormonosensitive breast cancer treatedwith CDK4/6 inhibitors: identification of predictive factors and novel therapeutic strategies

PI: Mireia Margelí Vila
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI21/00642
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

Prospective study of the predictive role of the CXCR2/Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic axis expression in response to platinum-based treatments in docetaxel-resistant metastatic prostate cancer patients

PI: Albert Font Pous / Vicenç Ruiz de Porras
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI21/00199
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

Validación de las alteraciones genómicas en el glioblastoma: búsqueda de puntos débiles para intervención terapéutica (VAL-GLIO-THERINT)

PI: Carme Balañá Quintero
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI21/00816
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

New immunotherapeutic opportunities in metastatic breast cancer: CDK4/6 inhibitors and their impact on the immune system

PI: Mireia Margelí Vila
Funding agency: InMaM project from Plan Complementario de Biotecnología aplicada a la salud, financed by NextGenerationEU
Duration: January 2023 - December 2024

Immune-based biomarkers as predictors of therapeutic response and resistance acquisition to treatment with CDK4/6 inhibitors in metastatic hormonosensitive breast cancer

PI: Ester Ballana Guix, Mireia Margelí Vila
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI21/00642
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

Comprehensive analysis of urine biomarkers to predict pathologic complete response in muscleinvasive bladder cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant therapy

PI: Albert Font Pous
Funding agency: Beca Gilead a la investigación biomédica
Agency code: GLD22_00070
Duration: 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2025

Anàlisi prospectiu de biomarcadors predictius de resposta al tractament neoadjuvant a partir de l'ARN missatger (ARNm) obtingut de plaquetes educades pel tumor (TEPs) en pacients amb càncer de bufeta múscul-infiltrant (CBI)

PIs: Mariona Fígols, Vicenç Ruiz de Porras, Albert Font Pous
Funding agency: Beca OncoEsMou per la Societat Catalano-Balear d'Oncologia (SCBO)
Duration: 01/10/2023 - 01/10/2025

Caracterización de CD73 y vía de la adenosina como inmunocheckpoint emergente en el cáncer de pulmón

PI: Maria Saigí Morguí
Funding agency: SEOM/JANSSEN grants
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

Inmunofenotipo lifocitario en sangre periférica y anticuerpos como marcadores de respuesta y toxicidad en pacientes con cáncer de pulmón tratados con inmunoterapia

PI: Teresa Moran Bueno
Funding agency: SEOM/TAKEDA grants
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

INtegrative Translational Research In Gastric cAncer: INTRIGA project

PI: Cinta Hierro Carbó
Funding agency: Grant of Treatment of Digestive Tumors “TTD” Group
Duration: 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2025

Contrato Río Hortega 2022: Papel de la inmunidad tumoral e inmuno-modulación en el tratamiento con inhibidores de ciclinas CDK4/6 en cáncer de mama metastásico hormonosensible y desarrollo de biomarcadores de respuesta al tratamiento"

PI: Ester Ballana ; Recipient: Milana Bergamino
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Duration: 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2024

Contrato Río Hortega 202: Papel de la inmunidad tumoral e inmuno-modulación en el tratamiento con inhibidores de ciclinas CDK4/6 en cáncer de mama metastásico hormonosensible y desarrollo de biomarcadores de respuesta al tratamiento"

PI: Ester Ballana ; Recipient: Marc Cucurull Salamero
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Duration: 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2024

Contrato beca Post-MIR Talent ICO 2022

PI: Lucía Notario; Mentor: Cinta Hierro
Funding agency: Institut Català d'Oncologia - IGTP
Duration: 01/06/2022 - 30/06/2024

Contrato PFIS 2022

PI: Carme Balañá; Recipient: Marta Costa
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Duration: 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2026

Contrato postdoctoral Sara Borrell 2021

PI: Ricard Mesía; Recipient: Adrià Bernat
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

Contrato postdoctoral Juan Rodés 2020

PI: Ricard Mesía; Recipient: Maria Saigí
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Duration: 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Contrato postdoctoral Juan Rodés 2023

PI: Ricard Mesía; Recipient: Eudald Felip Falgàs
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Duration: 01/01/2024 – 31/12/2027

Contrato Ayudas Clínicos Junior 2023

PI: Sofía España Fernández
Funding agency: Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (AECC)
Duration: 01/01/2024 - 31/12/2026

Contrato de Intensificación 2023

PI: Mireia Margelí Vila
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Duration: 01/01/2024 - 31/12/2024

Past projects

AI for new signatures and models for tailored organ preservation approaches in laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer

PI: Ricard Mesía Nin
Funding agency: PERIS - ERA PerMed JTC 2020
Agency code: PRESERVE
Duration: 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

Identificación de resistencia a la terapia dirigida en melanoma BRAF mutado: selección de la mejor opción terapéutica frente a la inmunoterapia en enfermedad avanzada y adyuvancia

PI: Anna Martínez Cardús / José Luis Manzano Mozo
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI20/01194
Duration: 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

Scientific publications

Highlighted publications

Gutiérrez-Chamorro L, Felip E, Castellà E, Quiroga V, Ezeonwumelu IJ, Angelats L, Esteve A, Perez-Roca L, Martínez-Cardús A, Fernandez PL, Ferrando-Díez A, Pous A, Bergamino M, Cirauqui B, Romeo M, Teruel I, Mesia R, Clotet B, Riveira-Muñoz E, Margelí M*, Ballana E*. SAMHD1 expression is a surrogate marker of immune infiltration and determines prognosis after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in early breast cancer. Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2024 Feb;47(1):189-208. DOI: 10.1007/s13402-023-00862-1

Capdevila J, Hernando J, Teule A, Lopez C, Garcia-Carbonero R, Benavent M, Custodio A, Garcia-Alvarez A, Cubillo A, Alonso V, Carmona-Bayonas A, Alonso-Gordoa T, Crespo G, Jimenez-Fonseca P, Blanco M, Viudez A, La Casta A, Sevilla I, Segura A, Llanos M, Landolfi S, Nuciforo P, Manzano JL. Durvalumab plus tremelimumab for the treatment of advanced neuroendocrine neoplasms of gastroenteropancreatic and lung origin. Nat Commun. 2023 May 23;14(1):2973. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-38611-5

Ruiz de Porras V, Wang XC, Palomero L, Marin-Aguilera M, Solé-Blanch C, Indacochea A, Jimenez N, Bystrup S, Bakht M, Conteduca V, Piulats JM, Buisan O, Suarez JF, Pardo JC, Castro E, Olmos D, Beltran H, Mellado B, Martinez-Balibrea E, Font A, Aytes A. Taxane-induced Attenuation of the CXCR2/BCL-2 Axis Sensitizes Prostate Cancer to Platinum-based Treatment. Eur Urol. 2021 Jun;79(6):722-733. DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2020.10.001

Guigay J, Aupérin A, Fayette J, Saada-Bouzid E, Lafond C, Taberna M, Geoffrois L, Martin L, Capitain O, Cupissol D, Castanie H, Vansteene D, Schafhausen P, Johnson A, Even C, Sire C, Duplomb S, Evrard C, Delord JP, Laguerre B, Zanetta S, Chevassus-Clément C, Fraslin A, Louat F, Sinigaglia L, Keilholz U, Bourhis J, Mesia R. Cetuximab, docetaxel, and cisplatin versus platinum, fluorouracil, and cetuximab as first-line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma (GORTEC 2014-01 TPExtreme): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2021 Apr;22(4):463-475. DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30755-5

Esteve-Codina A, Alameda F, Carrato C, Pineda E, Arpí O, Martinez-García M, Mallo M, Gut M, Dabad M, Tortosa A, Del Barco S, Capellades J, Puig J, Gallego O, Pujol T, Oleaga L, Gil-Gil M, de Quintana-Schmidt C, Valduvieco I, Martinez-Cardús A, Bellosillo B, Muñoz-Marmol AM, Esteve A, Domenech M, Camins A, Craven-Bartle J, Villa S, Marruecos J, Domenech S, de la Iglesia N, Balana C. RNA sequencing and Immunohistochemistry Reveal ZFN7 as a Stronger Marker of Survival than Molecular Subtypes in G-CIMP-negative Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Jan 15;27(2):645-655. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2141


Additional information

Collaborative networks

Doctoral theses

Title: Identificació de biomarcadors en càncer de mama metastàtic RH+/HER2- en curs de tractament amb inhibidors de quinases depenent de ciclines 4/6
Author: Eudald Felip Falgàs
Supervisors: Mireia Margelí, Ester Ballana
University: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Date of defense: 25 July 2023

Title: Causes de la resistència al tractament amb inhibidors de BRAF i de MEK en melanoma cutani amb mutació en el gen BRAF: identificació de biomarcadors per a optimitzar la selecció terapèutica enfront en la malaltia avançada
Author: Carme Solé Blanch
Supervisor: Anna Martínez Cardús
University: Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
Date of defense: October 2024


  • Recognition as Consolidated Group TransICOBAD - SGR01330 on 10 February 2023 by the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) of the Generalitat de Catalunya.
  • B·ARGO actively participates in the activity of the Translational Cancer Research Program (CARE) at IGTP, being Dr Mireia Margelí co-director and Dr Anna Martínez-Cardús networking coordinator of the program. In addition, the group has a great activity in organisation of events, not only specialised courses but also outreach events.
  • B·ARGO researchers are members of national and international oncology societies such as SEOM, ASEICA, ESMO, EORTC or EACR, as well Spanish and European Cooperatives.
  • Groups by Tumour Types (TTD, GECP, GEICAM, SOLTI, SOGUG, TTCC, GEICO, GEINO, GEM among others).


- Investigación, Proyectos

La investigadora Sofía España recibe una ayuda de 140.000€ de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer

La Dra. Sofía España, investigadora del grupo de investigación Mecanismos y Vías del Cáncer del IGTP y del Grupo de Investigación Aplicada en Oncología de Badalona (B·ARGO) IGTP-Institut Català d'Oncologia (ICO), ha sido una de las beneficiarias de las prestigiosas Ayudas Clínico Junior otorgadas por la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer. Esta ayuda le permitirá compaginar su labor asistencial con la investigación, centrándose en el desarrollo de una herramienta de diagnóstico poco invasiva que permita clasificar los diferentes tipos de cáncer colorrectal, avanzando hacia una medicina de precisión.

- Investigación

Nueva estrategia terapéutica para pacientes con cáncer de próstata metastásico resistente al tratamiento estándar

Investigadores de B·ARGO y de la Unidad de Tumores Urológicos del IGTP y del ICO han liderado un estudio que propone una nueva estrategia terapéutica basada en una combinación de inhibidores de quinasas para pacientes con cáncer de próstata metastásico que han progresado con el tratamiento estándar. El estudio ha sido publicado en la revista Frontiers in Pharmacology.

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