Unidad de Inmunología Molecular
Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFER
Cancer growth and metastasis are regulated to a great extent by stromal cells within the tumor microenvironment. Recent findings show that the perivascular niche can promote the colorectal cancer stem cell phenotype, favouring their survival, tumorigenic potential and chemoresistance, therefore playing an important role in relapse after treatment. In spite of being the prototypic perivascular cell, the role of pericytes in this context has not been addressed. Moreover, the resident hepatic pericytes (stellate cells) also play an important role in prometastatic niche induction, allowing engraftment of circulating colorectal cancer cells that extravasate through hepatic sinusoids. Currently, we are committed to:
a) use the pericyte as a tumor stromal cell model to study the complex molecular interactions taking place with colorectal cancer cells contributing to relapse and metastasis initiation
b) identify key molecules governing such interactions that could function as predictive biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
The identification of potential targets for the generation of therapeutic antibodies is the other focus of our reserarch. We have wide experience in the field of antibody engineering, with a preference for innovative formats such as diabodies, BiTEs (bispecific T-cell engagers) and trimerbodies. The final aim of our projects is the production of recombinant antibodies with a potential role in cancer treatment.
The student will be assigned to tumor microenvironment or antibody engineering according with his/her preferences.
Biomolecules & Cell D.
Laura Sanz Alcober