Study Design

Rare cancers account for ~25–30% of all cancer diagnoses and 25% of cancer deaths, representing a substantial burden of disease. However, basic science research, clinical trials and approval of new therapies for rare cancers are lacking. This translates into a worse prognosis for patients with a rare cancer than for those with common cancers. With the number of rare cancers increasing, finding more appropriate solutions for diagnosing, managing and studying rare cancers is essential.

Our Projects
Rare Cancers Genomics
  • MESOMICS project
  • lungNENomics project
  • panNENomics project
MESOMICS project
MESOMICS project
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, understudied cancer associated with exposure to carcinogenic mineral fibers, jointly known as “asbestos”. Most patients die within two years after diagnosis, mainly due to the limited available therapeutic and early detection opportunities. One of the reasons is the existence of only few molecular studies. Despite the ban of asbestos in many developed countries, the long latency of the disease together with the aging of the population, the increased environmental exposure, and the ongoing use of asbestos mostly in developing countries, among other factors, translates in malignant mesothelioma being an ongoing health problem.
lungNENomics project
lungNENomics project
Pulmonary carcinoids, including the low-grade typical carcinoids and the intermediate-grade atypical carcinoids, belong to the group of lung neuroendocrine neoplasms that also includes the high-grade large-cell neuroendocrine lung carcinomas (LCNEC) and small-cell lung cancers (SCLC). It has been widely accepted that well-differentiated pulmonary carcinoids have unique clinico-histopathological traits with no causative relationship or genetic, epidemiologic, or clinical traits in common with poorly-differentiated, high-grade LCNECs and SCLCs. However, several recent studies suggest that a molecular link might exist between these diseases, especially between atypical carcinoids and LCNEC.
panNENomics project
panNENomics project
The global scientific goal of the panNENomics project is to provide comparative analyses of the main molecular characteristics of understudied neuroendocrine neoplasms of all body sites (including the rare pituitary, head&neck, (para)thyroid, breast, genito-urinary, and skin NENs) and generate molecular maps to inform the clinical decisions in terms of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. We believe that the setting of this project would provide an environment that promotes collaboration among experts in the field of NENs rather than competition.
Meet the multidisciplinary team
Techniques we use
  • Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Transcriptome Sequencing
  • Methylation Array
  • Integrative Analyses
  • Dimension Reduction
  • Bioinformatics
  • Machine Learning
  • Functional Genomics
  • Clinical Data Analysis
  • Organoids
  • Digital Pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry