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Translational research group in uveal melanoma

Why have we created this group?

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Europe, which is why the early diagnosis, accurate prognosis, and treatment of this disease are among the main goals of medicine. We believe these goals can be achieved through translational research, by developing new biomarkers and exploring novel treatments that complement or improve existing ones.

Uveal melanoma is a rare type of eye cancer that originates in the vascular layer of the eye called the uvea. This layer is comprised of the choroid, the ciliary body, and the iris. A diagnosis of uveal melanoma is serious because approximately half of patients will develop metastatic disease, most commonly in the liver, which is a common cause of death among these patients.

We created this research group to study the molecular mechanisms that give rise to the tumour followed by dissemination (metastasis) of the tumour cells. We are also exploring new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities to improve survival rates.

What do we do?

Barcelona Uveal Melanoma is a team of professionals from Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO – L’Hospitalet). Biologists, oncologists, pathologists, and ophthalmologists all work together to improve the care of patients with uveal melanoma.

We created a pioneering Ocular Oncology Unit, which has been designated as a reference centre (CSUR) in the Spanish National Health Care System. We are recognized by the European Union as a center of expertise for the management of uveal melanoma through the Orphanet platform. We also form part of the European adult cancer network known as ERN-EURACAN.

Our research team was accredited in 2017 by the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya; AGAUR) as an emerging research group.

Team

Josep Maria Caminal Mitjana
Josep Maria Caminal Mitjana
Ophthalmologist (MD, PhD)
Since 1994, he has been a staff member of the Ophthalmology Department at Bellvitge University Hospital where he is now the head of the...
Àngels Fabra Fres
Àngels Fabra Fres
Biologist (PhD)
Daniel Lorenzo Parra
Daniel Lorenzo Parra
Ophthalmologist (MD, FEBO)
Since 2015 he has been a member of the Ophthalmology Service at Bellvitge University Hospital, where he works in the Retina-Vitreous Unit and in...
Jaume Català Mora
Jaume Català Mora
Ophthalmologist (MD, PhD)
Since 2006, he has also worked at the Ophthalmology Service at Bellvitge University Hospital in the Retina-Vitreous Section and the Ocular...
Estefanía Cobos Martín
Estefanía Cobos Martín
Ophthalmologist (MD, FEBO, PhD)
Since 2011 she has been a full-time staff member of the Ophthalmology Department at Bellvitge University Hospital, where she works in the...
Eduard Cabré Estivill
Eduard Cabré Estivill
Pre-doctoral investigator (scientist)
Since 2015, he has been part of the TGFβ and Cancer research group at IDIBELL, where he works as a full-time predoctoral researcher.
Montse Gomà Gállego
Montse Gomà Gállego
Pathologist (MD)
In 2004 she joined the pathology department at Bellvitge University Hospital where she is works with various departments/groups, including...
María José Paúles Villar
María José Paúles Villar
Pathologist (MD)
Since 2006 she has worked in the Pathological Anatomy Department at Bellvitge University Hospital as a pathologist specializing in...
Mar Varela Rodríguez
Mar Varela Rodríguez
Molecular biologist, Pathology Department (PhD)
Since 2003, she has been working at the Pathology Department at Bellvitge University Hospital.
Cristina Gutiérrez Miguélez
Cristina Gutiérrez Miguélez
Radiation oncologist (MD, PhD)
She is a Professor of Oncology and Radiology at the University of Barcelona.
Josep Maria Piulats Rodríguez
Josep Maria Piulats Rodríguez
Medical oncologist (MD, PhD)
Dr. Piulats is the chair for uveal melanoma of the Spanish Melanoma Group. He is active in the group, working to set up clinical trials in...