Our research is focused on the study of rare lymphomas, such as those that affect immunosuppressed patients, in terms of both clinical and genetic aspects. We have made important contributions to this field and our current objective is to reveal genetic and epigenetic characteristics of lymphoid neoplasms that occur mainly in immunosuppressed individuals. The purpose is to identify markers to improve the accuracy with which these patients are managed. Furthermore, we aim to implement liquid biopsy as a tool for diagnosis and follow-up of aggressive lymphomas.
Our group focuses mainly on the research of AIDS-related lymphomas (ARLs). The most frequent ARLs are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) and primary effusion lymphoma (LEP) are less frequent, but typically present in immunosuppressed individuals. We also study other haematological disorders with an increased incidence in the HIV-positive population such as Castleman disease (CD).
Our main areas of research are:
Genetic studies on HIV-related lymphomas. Although HIV-infected patients are treated with the same regimens as HIV-negative individuals, their survival rate is lower due to the higher susceptibility to infections and secondary neoplasms.
Liquid biopsy in aggressive lymphomas. This technique could be useful to diagnose DLBCL earlier, and in a more comprehensive and accurate manner than with tissue biopsy alone.
Genetic studies on plasmablastic lymphoma. Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare B-cell lymphoid neoplasm that especially affects immunocompromised individuals and has a poor prognosis.
We believe that genetic and epigenetic profiles will help clarify the mechanisms involved in lymphomagenesis and identify potential biomarkers, thus allowing cases to be classified more effectively. The possible diagnostic and/or prognostic impact of these markers could pave the way for the design of new targeted therapies, thus leading to new treatment approaches and improving the outcome of patients suffering from the lymphomas on which our research focuses, i.e. AIDS-related lymphomas, plasmablastic lymphoma and Castleman disease.
We expect that the results of our studies will lead to changes in the management of these rare lymphoid neoplasms and improve the poor prognosis of some lymphoid malignancies, such as plasmablastic lymphoma. Through our research, we hope to answer the following questions:
What genetic and epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the development of HIV-related lymphomas?
Which biomarkers can be used for an earlier diagnosis of lymphoid neoplasms in populations at high risk of developing these disorders, such as HIV-infected and transplanted patients?
How can we apply liquid biopsy in the diagnosis and follow-up of aggressive lymphomas?