Conxi Lázaro, Juani Fernández and Alberto Villanueva receive an NF Research Initiative grant to test combination therapies in MPNST


The group of dr. Conxi Lázaro, principal investigator of the Hereditary cancer research group of the Oncobell program (IDIBELL) and head of the Molecular diagnostic Unit of the Hereditary cancer program (ICO), has been awarded one of five preclinical research grants that NF Research Initiative, an initiative linked to Boston Children Hospital, annually offers. This grant program aims to expand the existing knowledge at a biological level regarding the progression of malignant tumors of the nerve sheath (MPNST) to advance the development of therapies against these pathologies.

” Single targeted therapies have failed to demonstrate efficacy in the treatment of MPNST,” explains Dr. Lázaro. “Given this situation, our research group has already performed a high-throughput drug screening on two MPNST cell lines, identifying powerful and effective drugs that we have also tested, in some cases, in pairs to find those compound combinations exhibiting synergistic behavior. “adds Lázaro.

Now, with the funds received, IDIBELL-ICO researchers propose to further validate the best synergistic combinations in their already developed in vitro/in vivo MPNST therapeutic platform for precision medicine, which consists of three components: MPNST cell lines, orthoxenograft (PDX) MPNST mouse models and a repository of genomic data of all the patient-derived in vitro and in vivo models.

“With all this information, we will be able to establish prediction models of drug response, both as individual agents and in combination, compare and evaluate treatment in cell lines and in vivo models from the same patient, and study the effect of stroma signaling on treatments and the effectiveness of therapeutic combinations on metastasis “, concludes Dr. Lázaro.

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