Our goal is to understand how resistance to therapy develops in patients with cancer, and how it can be prevented. We are developing biological and computational tools to understand cancer biology from a vial of blood and translate our findings into new therapeutic approaches.
Making tissue biopsy obsolete. We are developing "liquid biopsy" approaches to obtain biological information about cancer, simply from a vial of blood. We focus on circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) that can be obtained from the circulation of cancer patients. Using next-generation sequencing and other high-throughput methods we can follow how cancer changes in real-time. These technologies help us to gain insight into cancer, even when a tissue biopsy is not possible. They will also allow us to obtain information about cancer that is not accessible by tissue biopsy.
Deciphering drug resistance mechanisms in Multiple Myeloma. Multiple Myeloma can be treated successfully in almost all patients and long-term survival is possible, but the disease cannot be cured. One reason for the lack of cures is the fact that multiple myeloma is very heterogenous and it changes all the time. We are investigating those changes that occur when multiple myeloma becomes resistant to drugs and we develop strategies to understand and prevent the molecular mechanisms of drug resistance. We have a strong interest in developing and applying computational methods to understand the clonal evolution that contributes to drug resistance.
Harnessing the power of the immune system to develop new therapies. The immune system has been shown to be a powerful ally in cancer treatment. Understanding the diversity of the tumor microenvironment and how it changes over time is particularly important, since it has great impact on therapeutic responses. We are developing novel approaches to understand the contribution of the tumor microenvironment to tumor growth and to exploit the immune system's potential to fight cancer.