Haematological Tumours

Coordinator: Marcos González/ Co-coordinator: Dolors Colomer

Haematological tumours or malignancies originate in blood tissue including bone marrow and the lymph nodes. Even though haematological neoplasms only represent 10-15% of the total number of cancers, these tumours have a great socio-economic impact as they are the ones with greatest incidence in children and young adults.

Haematological malignancies are extremely heterogeneous in their clinical, biological and prognostic aspects, not only due to their different cell origin but also to the diversity of cytogenetic and molecular alterations. The incorporation of new diagnostic methodologies, mainly massive sequencing studies and new generation flow cytometry, enables making an accurate diagnosis and classifying haematological tumours into clinical entities all with very different prognoses. This technology also furthered the identification of molecular targets enabling using drugs addressing each particular one of these and individualising treatment for each patient. With this progress a major milestone has been attained in cancer, since today we can claim that the mortality of haematological malignancies has dropped considerably over the last few years, and many patients who would have been considered incurable in the early 90s have been effectively cured. There is nevertheless a long way to go to find a solution for the almost 10,000 deaths a year that these tumours continue to cause in this country. There are still many unanswered methodological, diagnostic and clinical questions on the applicability and effectiveness of these strategies in everyday clinical practice, forcing us to validate this in properly controlled series of patients with a large number of sick people.

With these aims this coordinated research programme combines the efforts of 9 research groups specialising in the study of the main types of haematological neoplasms. In cooperation with several Spanish cooperative work groups (PETHEMA, GEM, GELTAMO, GELLC, GETH, CETLAM, GETCC, GEMFIN, GELMC and GESMD) these researchers constitute a model of integrated research in which the samples of patients treated uniformly in protocolled clinical trials, or in accordance with standards of clinical practice in Spain, will be subject to in-depth analysis. The aims will be focussed on finding out the biology of these tumours, understanding the progression and resistance mechanisms and on the identification of biomarkers enabling the efficacy of the treatments to be monitored. Preclinical in vitro and in vivo models will also be got under way, in order to analyse the biological relevance of the molecular alterations that have been found and to test the therapeutic efficacy of specific drugs for these potential targets. The ultimate objective of all these studies will be to contribute to a better care and treatment of patients with haematological tumours and to establish new standards of treatment applicable in daily clinical practice for our patients.

Lines of research:

  • Pathological, immune-phenotypic and molecular characterisation of haematological tumours.
  • Development of diagnostic tools applicable in clinical practice.
  • Development of pre-clinical models.
  • Promotion of prospective clinical trials.

Groups:

Main researcherConsortium InstitutionRegions
Campo, Elías Institut D'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer Cataluña
Colomer, Dolors Institut D'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer Cataluña
González, Marcos Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Salamanca Castilla y León
Orfao, Alberto Centro de Investigación del Cáncer Castilla y León
Pérez-Simón, José Antonio Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla Andalucía
Piris, Miguel Ángel Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz Madrid
Prósper, Felipe Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada Navarra
San Miguel, Jesús Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada Navarra
Sanz, Guillermo Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe Valencia