Grupo de Inmunidad del Cáncer

Inicio | Investigación e innovación | Programas Científicos | Programa de Oncología Molecular | Grupo de Inmunidad del Cáncer

María Casanova
María Casanova Jefe de Grupo
T +34 917328000 (Ext )

Becarios Pre-Doctorales

  • Enrique Nogueira

Técnicos de Laboratorio

  • Nines Sanguino Acosta
  • Gonzalo Soria

Our laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which myeloid cells fuel and facilitate tumor initiation, progression and metastasis.

Myeloid cells, which constitute the first barrier of the innate immune system upon an insult, are equipped to provide sensing, recognition, pro-inflammatory and homeostatic functions. Thus, their unique presence in tissues places them at the forefront of tumor cell recognition and inception.

Innate immune cells possess a circadian molecular clock that time the functional properties of these cells, driving temporal windows of action for cell-type-specific processes. In a similar manner, circadian oscillations have also been described in cells of the adaptive immune system, such as T cells. We aim to decipher clock-controlled tissue immune surveillance in order to promote cancer cell clearance thus, preventing tumor growth and invasion.

Epigenetic reprogramming of myeloid cells upon exogenous or endogenous insults leads to an altered response to subsequent triggers, which can favor disease progression. Our lab aims to understand the mechanisms by which myeloid cells in metastatic sites are co-opted by signals raised in primary tumor.

With the help of integrated single cell transcriptomics, proteomics and multiplex imaging, we seek to understand myeloid functional programs at the very early stages of tumorigenesis, and how these cells may be harnessed to better enable an anti-tumor response.

Our ultimate goal is to identify myeloid determinants of tumor progression in pre-malignant lesions.


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  • Casanova-Acebes, M., Dalla, E., Leader, A.M, LeBerichel J, Nikolic J, Morales BM , Brown M, Chang C, Troncoso L, Chen ST, Sastre-Perona A, Park M, Tabachnikova A, Dhainaut M, Hamon P, Maier B, Sawai CM, Agulló-Pascual E, Chober M, Brown BD, Reizis B, Marron T, Kenigsberg E, Moussion C, Benaroch, Aguirre-Ghiso JA, Merad M (2021). Tissue-resident macrophages provide a pro-tumorigenic niche to early NSCLC cells. Nature 595, 578-584. Publicación en otras instituciones.
  • Hidalgo A , Casanova-Acebes M (2021). Dimensions of neutrophil life and fate. Semin Immunol (in press). Publicación CNIO.
  • Casanova-Acebes M, Menéndez-Gutiérrez MP, Porcuna J, Álvarez-Errico D, Lavin Y, García A, Kobayashi S, Le Berichel J, Núñez V, Were F, Jiménez-Carretero D, Sánchez-Cabo F, Merad M, Ricote M (2020). RXRs control serous macrophage neonatal expansion and identity and contribute to ovarian cancer progression.. Nat Commun 11, 1655. Publicación en otras instituciones.
  • Linde N, Casanova-Acebes M, Sosa MS, Mortha A, Rahman A, Farias E, Harper K, Tardio E, Reyes Torres I, Jones J, Condeelis J, Merad M, Aguirre-Ghiso JA (2018). Macrophages orchestrate breast cancer early dissemination and metastasis.. Nat Commun 9, 21. Publicación en otras instituciones.
  • Casanova-Acebes M, Nicolás-Ávila JA, Li JL, García-Silva S, Balachander A, Rubio-Ponce A, Weiss LA, Adrover JM, Burrows K, A-González N, Ballesteros I, Devi S, Quintana JA, Crainiciuc G, Leiva M, Gunzer M, Weber C, Nagasawa T, Soehnlein O, Merad M, Mortha A, Ng LG, Peinado H, Hidalgo A (2018). Neutrophils instruct homeostatic and pathological states in naive tissues. J Exp Med 215, 2778-2795. Publicación CNIO.