Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute

Translational research group on hematological neoplasms Blanca Espinet

The main thrust of this group’s research is the phenotypic, cytogenetic and molecular characterisation of various haematological pathologies to identify diagnostic and prognostic markers in order to better understand the physiopathology of these entities, as well as the response to certain drugs. To do this, they use flow cytometry techniques, conventional cytogenetics, FISH, genomic and expression microarrays, RT-PCR, Sanger and next generation sequencing (NGS).

Their main lines of work include:

Myeloid research (Drs. Lourdes Florensa, Leonor Arenillas and Xavier Calvo)

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS):

Myeloproliferative neoplasms/myelodysplastic syndromes (MPN/MDS)

Lymphoid research (Drs. Blanca Espinet, Ana Ferrer, Xavier Calvo, Fernando Gallardo, Anna Puiggros, Marta Salido, Gonzalo Blanco and Andrea Gómez)

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and CLL-type monoclonal B lymphocytosis (MBL): 


Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL)

  • Characterisation of non-classifiable B-cell splenic lymphoma/leukaemia (small B-cell splenic lymphoma with diffuse infiltration of the red pulp and variant hairy cell leukaemia) in peripheral blood, in collaboration with the Spanish Group for Haematological Cytology (Grupo Español de Citología Hematológica - GECH).
  • Conventional cytogenetic and FISH characterisation of altered regions (7q, 3q (BCL6) and 17p (TP53)) and cyclins D1, D2 and D3. SNP arrray studies, molecular characterisation of the mutational status of the IGHV gene and the set of gene families involved. Study of the incidence of gene mutations that could be involved in the pathogenesis of splenic marginal zone lymphoma (KLF2, NOTCH2, MYD88, BRAF, and SOX11).
  • Morphologic, phenotypic, cytogenetic and molecular characterisation of clonal B lymphocytosis with a marginal phenotype. Analysis of sequential samples (possible evolution to classic splenic marginal zone lymphoma). Research into this group of genes with an important role in well-established mature B cell neoplasms (TLR2, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, and BIRC3).
  • Massive sequencing and methylation studies in marginal splenic lymphoma and clonal B lymphocytosis with a marginal phenotype.

Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma/Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia(LPL/WM)

  • Study of leukaemisation, phenotypic characterisation and reclassification of diagnosed cases of LPL/WM through new, molecular age developments (MYD88 mutation) and flow cytometry.

Cutaneous lymphomas

Solid Tumour Research (Drs. Marta Salido and Sergi Clavé)

Lung cancer

  • Validation of Ion Torrent mass sequencing technology (NGS) for identifying and characterising rearrangements of ALK and ROS1 genes compared to the reference technique, FISH, in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This technology also facilitates the detection of additional mutations/rearrangements that may be relevant to the biology of this subset of lung carcinomas.
  • Mutational study of the MET gene in NSCLC. Comparison of the results with the data obtained through FISH techniques (gene amplification) and immunohistochemistry (overexpression).
  • Molecular characterisation of NSCLC with mutations in KRAS using massive sequencing and CGH arrays.
  • Characterisation of the role of genomic alterations in relation to PD-L1 expression in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

Other links of interest:

NACIONAL NETWORKS: Sociedad Española de Hematología y Hemoterapia,Asociación Española contra el Cáncer, Grupo Español de Citología Hematológica, Grupo Cooperativo Español de Citogenética Hematológica, Grupo de Biología Molecular en Hematología, Academia Española de Dermatología y Venereología, Grupo Español de LLC, Grupo Español de SMD.

INTERNACIONAL NETWORKS: American Society of Hematology, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, European Research Initiative on CLL, Eurogentest, European Society of Human Genetics, European Cytogeneticists Association, American Society of Human Genetics.

TOOLS OF INTEREST: GenHem App, Recurrent Chromosome Aberrations in Cancer, Mitelman Database of Chromosome Aberrations in Cancer, Resources for Molecular Cytogenetics.

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