The endocrine system is a network of glands that secrete hormones, which influence almost every cell, organ and function of our body, therefore its dysregulation can lead to severe symptoms. Endocrine disorders can be caused by a tumour in a gland. The endocrine tumour entity covers the full range of phenotypes from indolent and benign to the worst human cancer forms.
Our research aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the etiology and progression of endocrine tumours and at identifying diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, predictors of response to therapy and novel therapeutic targets to improve the management of patients. Our research approach combines both genome-wide methodologies and specific techniques to analyze samples from patients with endocrine tumours and to address mechanistic and functional questions in cell lines.
It is remarkable that about 50% of the general population present nodules in the thyroid gland. Fortunately, most of them are benign and only a small percentage will eventually become malignant. Still, thyroid cancer accounts for 1% of all malignant human tumours and represents the most common endocrine malignancy. In common with multiple other cancer types, epigenetic alterations are characteristic of thyroid tumorigenesis. We are interested in profiling the epigenome during the progression of thyroid cancer, with special interest in the metastatic process. Using this knowledge we aim to identify molecular markers that predict the clinical course to decide a more personalized medicine.
Pituitary tumours are the most common type of pituitary disorders. They constitute a wide family of neoplasias with different hormonal and proliferative behaviours. Surgical resection remains the first line treatment for most of them, with or without adjuvant radiation therapy. Nevertheless, the greater promise will likely come from medical treatment, but for the moment it is hampered by the limited understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying pituitary tumorigenesis. Therefore, we are interested in expand our knowledge of the molecular signatures of pituitary tumours to better understand the disease and improve the management of patients.
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