Respiratory Tract Tumours

Coordinator: Luis Montuenga/ Co-coordinator: Luis Paz Ares

The respiratory tract tumour programme sets out to provide a response to some of the key questions regarding tumours originating in the lungs, head and neck.

Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer, with 1.82 million new cases a year all over the world. This type of cancer also has a high mortality rate, mainly because this is diagnosed in an advanced stage and because current therapies are not sufficiently effective. Only 15% of lung cancer patients consequently survive over 5 years.

In spite of the promising progress made over the last few years in the early detection and introduction of new treatments based on the biological profile of lung cancer, there still needs to be more in-depth scientific knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the initiation, progression and metastasis of these tumours. This is a key objective to be able to design new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies which can be transferred to routine clinical practice.

By a combination of clinical and translational research, and structured into 5 different research groups, this programme seeks to face up to the current challenges of treatment of respiratory tract tumours, placing special emphasis on precision medicine and on the development and clinical evolution of new therapeutic targets and immune therapy strategies.

Lines of research:

  • Identification and characterisation of genomic aberrations of therapeutic relevance in lung, head and neck cancer, with special interest in carcinoma of the squamous cells of the respiratory tract. Discovery of new molecular targets based on genomics, epigenomics and in silico analysis.
  • Preclinical evaluation of new strategies of therapies addressing lung, head and neck cancer, with special attention to squamous cell carcinoma. Analysis of the mechanism of key candidates in appropriate cell and in vivo models, and translational analysis of the relevance of specific genetic alterations in progression and survival.
  • Evaluation, validation of emerging procedures of immune therapy for respiratory tract carcinoma and prediction of efficiency and resistance based on tumour and immune genomic profiles and the microenvironmental panorama.
  • In vitro and in vivo analysis of therapeutic combinations of treatments based on immune therapy for promoting clinical studies.
  • Analysis of biomarkers in liquid biopsy from blood and other non-invasive samples as a screening tool and relapse monitoring.


Main ResearcherConsortium InstitutionRegions
Luis Montuenga Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada Navarra
Luis Paz-Ares Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre Madrid
Amancio Carnero Hospital Virgen del Rocio Andalucía
Carlos Camps Hospital General Universitario de Valencia Valencia
Juan Rodrigo Tapia Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias Asturias
Mariano Barbacid Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas Madrid