Home > Research > Scientific Programmes: Clinical Research Programme

Clinical Research Programme

The Clinical Research Programme has 2 main aims : 1) to translate preclinical research into novel clinical care standards ; and 2) to address novel clinical oncology challenges with preclinical research. The specific areas of work include : 1) development of novel agents ; 2) study of the mechanisms of action of novel compounds and tackling drug resistance ; and 3), moving forward in the field of biomarkers, functional taxonomy and precision medicine.

Currently, the Programme is composed of 4 Clinical Research Units, 1 supporting Unit and clinical trials Management. The Breast Cancer Clinical Research Unit, headed by Miguel Quintela- Fandino, has successfully translated its preclinical research in angiogenesis into two novel independent clinical trials. The effects of targeting immune reprogramming in response to hypoxia-inducing antiangiogenics and mitochondrial metabolism in response to hypoxia-correcting antiangiogenics are being tested prospectively in 2 ongoing trials launched in 10 hospitals of the Spanish National Healthcare System. The Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Unit, under the supervision of David Olmos, has completed its biobanking collection of >17000 samples that will allow the defining of biomarkers of activity and resistance against the main agents used in the management of advanced prostate cancer. They have also gathered a large patient cohort that will determine, for the first time, novel genetic markers associated to inherited prostate cancer in the European population. The Lung Cancer Clinical Research Unit, led by Luis Paz-Ares, has significantly contributed to the discovery of biomarkers that will impact the selection tools for targeted therapies in advanced lung cancer. They have also led several practice-changing international clinical trials. Finally, the Haematological Malignancies Clinical Research Unit, headed by Joaquín Martínez-López, has developed novel tools for the diagnosis and surveillance of the clinical course of different haematological malignancies. Regarding drug development, a novel role for the MEK pathway during drug resistance in acute myeloid leukaemia has been elucidated. An exciting novel line of research based on the ex vivo expansion of natural killer cells is currently ongoing.

The Molecular Diagnostics Unit and Clinical Trials Management, provide support to the Programme in different areas. The Molecular Diagnostics Unit, led by Luis Lombardía, executes a variety of molecular tests that serve the purpose of screening patient candidates for CNIO clinical trials. The latter, led by Antonio López, takes care of the operational procedures of multi-centric clinical trials, including tasks such as site selection, protocol development or regulatory and legal affairs oversight.

During 2017, the Programme established novel alliances with 'big pharma' including companies such as AstraZeneca or Bayer AG that support our current research ; this reflects the level of interest that our activities raise in the drug development field. The number of CNIO-sponsored/led trials has increased to 9 and the collaborating hospitals to over 60.