Drug resistance is a major barrier in oncology. Refractoriness to anti-cancer therapies is attributed to autonomous-tumor cell survival and proliferation signaling (intrinsic mechanisms) or is mediated by growth factors secreted by cells in the tumor microenvironment (extrinsic mechanisms).
Our long-term goal is to elucidate the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies, particularly, in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) and esophagus (ESCC) , paving the way for developing new therapeutic strategies to treat these patients.
Our laboratory develops unique murine cancer models and grows human tumor biopsys in nude mice to study the dynamic changes that occur in the tumor and the microenvironment that limit the efficacy of therapies. Moreover, we use DNA and RNA sequencing to identify determinants of sensitivity to therapies and to uncover potential mechanisms of escape. Develop unique cancer models and apply state of the art techniques to study drug resistance.