Ageing and Cancer
This group’s main objectives are to analyze mechanisms involved in cancer cell plasticity and the impact of this plasticity on skin SCC progression and therapy response. We are interested in determining the molecular mechanisms that promote cutaneous SCC (cSCC) progression and metastasis, by studying pathways that regulate cancer cell plasticity and cancer stem cell function, as well as in determining the impact of cancer cell plasticity on tumor microenvironment, but also how tumor microenvironment impacts on cancer cell plasticity, cSCC progression and therapy response. The final aim of these studies is to define the molecular basis for new therapeutic treatments that block cSCC recurrence and metastasis and overcome intrinsic and acquired resistance to therapy.
Dr. Muñoz’s laboratory has generated mouse models of cSCC (cSCC-PDXs, amongst others) that have been used as pre-clinical models to evaluate the anti-tumor efficiency of different drugs, and to study combined therapies to overcome primary and/or acquired resistance to these drugs.
Our group is composed by translational and clinical researchers (surgeons and pathologist) from Bellvitge Hospital (HUB, partner of IDIBELL), and collaborates with Oncologists from ICO/IDIBELL. This close interaction between basic and clinical researchers provides perspective on the critical questions associated with HNSCC and cSCC pathologies.