Skip to main content

Eva Colas Ortega

I am principal researcher in the Group of Biomedical Research in Gynecology, where I lead the translational research group. My research interest is to provide solutions for unmet clinical needs in gynecology, mainly in endometrial cancer and endometriosis. We work on biomarker research to provide with innovative solutions and preclinical models to improve personalized medicine.

Institutions of which they are part

Head of group
Biomedical Research in Gynaecology
Vall Hebron Institut de Recerca

Eva Colas Ortega

Institutions of which they are part

Head of group
Biomedical Research in Gynaecology
Vall Hebron Institut de Recerca

I am principal researcher in the Group of Biomedical Research in Gynecology, where I lead the translational research group. My research interest is to provide solutions for unmet clinical needs in gynecology, mainly in endometrial cancer and endometriosis. We work on biomarker research to provide with innovative solutions and preclinical models to improve personalized medicine.

I am biologist by formation and fully dedicated to endometrial cancer research for the last 16 years. From 2017, I lead my own team in the Group of Biomedical Research in Gynecology (VHIR) and my research focus on the implementation of molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine in gynecology, mainly in endometrial cancer (EC) and endometriosis.
In my career I participated in the development of the first EC patient-derived murine models (PDX), and today, my group owns one of the largest PDX biobanks in Europe, which is used by us, partners and pharma to assess treatments for EC patients. Importantly, I have also grown as a scientist dedicated to biomarker research in gynecological fluids. I worked in the development of the first molecular kit to diagnose EC. Today, I am the European Coordinator of a multicenter study to develop a non-invasive diagnosis of EC (ERA PerMed), and am the founder of a spin-off (MiMARK Diagnostics S.L.) that aims to develop innovative solutions for women health.
As a summary, I have a total of 73 scientific articles with impact factor; 17 of them as senior author; and am inventor of 4 patents. My scientific and leadership capacity is proved by the supervision of 12 doctoral theses, 6 of which have already been defended, two of them awarded. I have participated in 32 competitive research projects, being 13 of them principal investigator, and I am actively participating in national (CIBERONC) and international (ENITEC) cancer networks.
I have been teaching in graduate and master studies for the last 7 years; and I have been on the Steering Committee of the Societat Catalana de Biologia for 10 years.

Research lines

Endometrial Cancer and Endometriosis Research

Research team:


Dr. Eva Colas (Principal researcher)

Dr. Cristian Moiola (Post-doctoral researcher)

Dr. Eva Coll (PhD student)

Dr. Carlos López (PhD student)

Dr. Carina Masferrer (PhD student)

Dr. Beatriz Villafranca (PhD student)

Dr. Melek Denizli (Technician)

Dr. Marta Rebull (Technician)

Dr. Aida Soler (Technician)

Dr. Antonio Gil-Moreno (Principal researcher)

Dra. Silvia Cabrera (Clinical associated investigator)

Dr. Angel García (Clinical associated investigator)

Dr. Armando Reques (Clinical associated investigator)

Dra. Elena Suárez (Clinical associated investigator)

Dra. Mireia Armengol (Clinical associated investigator/resident)



Research focus


IMPLEMENTATION OF MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS IN ENDOMETRIAL CANCER

Early detection is directly related to an increased survival for endometrial cancer patients. Diagnosis of endometrial cancer initiates with the presence of symptoms, i.e. an abnormal vaginal bleeding, and 1 of every 10 women with this symptom will have an endometrial cancer. In order to improve early detection, we aim to improve the process of diagnosis by implementing molecular markers in proximal bodily fluids. Thus, we expect to minimize invasiveness whilst increase accuracy on the newly developed methods of diagnosis. In this research line, the group has two ongoing projects:

Proteomic biomarkers for an improved diagnosis in uterine aspirates.

Exploitation of pap-smears as an untapped source of biomarkers of endometrial cancer.


PREVENTING DISTANT AND LOCAL DISSEMINATION OF ENDOMETRIAL CANCER CELLS

Once a patient is diagnosed, the presence of prognostic factors are used to classify patients according to their risk of recurrence, which directly affects their clinical management. However, up to 20% of patients diagnosed at early stages, and up to 50% of patients diagnosed in advanced stages will suffer a relapse without means of predicting it. We aim to understand the mechanisms of local and distant tumour dissemination to develop strategies that prevent tumour relapse. Moreover, we aim to design tools to better estimate the risk of recurrence of endometrial cancer patients. In this research line, the group has two ongoing projects:

Understanding the molecular mechanisms associated to local and distant dissemination via studying the MELF component and the exosomes derived from the tumor.

Deciphering biomarkers of recurrence in endometrial cancer.


DEVELOPING INDIVIDUALIZED TREATMENT FOR ENDOMETRIAL CANCER PATIENTS

Nowadays, adjuvant treatment of metastatic or recurrent endometrial cancer patients is restricted to few therapeutic options, mostly based on radiotherapy and conventional chemotherapy regimens. Advances in understanding the molecular landscape of endometrial cancer have arisen the development of targeted therapies. However, responses to these targeted therapies are modest, probably due to the underestimation of the heterogeneity found in cancer, misrepresentation of low frequent subtypes of cancer, as well as the lack of clinically relevant models to perform pre-clinical studies, among other issues. The group aims to develop clinically relevant models and design experimental treatments in order to increase the response rate of patients. In this research line, the group has 2 ongoing projects:

The U-CAN platform of endometrial cancer PDX models to perform preclinical studies.

Identification of new experimental therapies.

Real-time oncology.


MOLECULAR DIAGNOSIS AND RECURRENCE PREDICTION IN ENDOMETRIOSIS

Endometriosis is an estrogen dependent disease that affects approximately 15% of women in reproductive age. Although endometriosis is considered a benign disease, characterized by the presence of uterine tissue outside the uterus, it causes strong pain and, often, infertility. So far, the gold standard method to diagnose endometriosis is laparoscopy, an invasive technique and there are no methods for early diagnose of the disease. In addition, patients undergoing surgery as a definitive treatment of endometriosis might recur without means of predicting it. In this research line, the group has 2 ongoing projects:

Assess the potential of angiogenic factors to diagnose and predict recurrence in endometriosis.

Identification of biomarkers to predict recurrence in endometrioma using a proteomic and transcriptomic approach.

IP: Eva Colas Ortega

Projects

BIOBANCOS Y BIOMODELOS

IP: Isabel Novoa Garcia
Collaborators: Joaquim Vives Armengol, Anna Duarri Piqué, Eva Colas Ortega, Oriol Bestard Matamoros, Marta Rosal Fontana, Carmen Espejo Ruiz, Marielle Esteves Coelho, Juan Jose Gonzalez Lopez, Sheyla Pascual Martín, Alejandro Tomasello Weitz
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Funding: 137460
Reference: PT23/00040
Duration: 01/01/2024 - 31/12/2026

Desarrollo de CEMARK-Px, un método in vitro para el diagnóstico objetivo y preciso del tipo y grado histológico del cáncer de endometrio en fluido uterino

IP: Eva Colas Ortega
Collaborators: Vicente Bebia Conesa, Silvia Cabrera Diaz, Antonio Gil Moreno, Marta Rebull Santamaria, Ana Luzarraga Aznar, Irene De la Calle Fuentes, Melek Denizli, Lourdes Elena Salazar Huayna
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Funding: 278300
Reference: DTS23/00091
Duration: 01/01/2024 - 31/12/2025

Development of a non-invasive ivd for endometrial cancer screening on high-risk populations

IP: Eva Colas Ortega
Collaborators: Antonio Gil Moreno, Irene De la Calle Fuentes
Funding agency: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación-MICINN
Funding: 201869.5
Reference: CPP2022-009817
Duration: 01/10/2023 - 30/09/2026

Ministerio de Ciencia

Development of non-invasive molecular diagnosis of endometriosis

IP: Eva Colas Ortega
Collaborators: Raquel Delgado Gil, Miriam Izquierdo Sans
Funding agency: Fundació Institut de Recerca HUVH
Funding: 102820.06
Reference: VHIR-PHD-2023-005
Duration: 01/12/2023 - 30/11/2027

Related news

From 6th to 7th March, more than 60 European researchers have shared the advances in translational research in endometrial cancer

On January 24, a session was held to explain what these three-dimensional models are and what advantages they have, as well as to review some of their applications in research.

A team from Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) highlights the ERK5 protein as a key factor in the resistance to cancer drugs.

Related professionals

Miguel Nuño Perez

Miguel Nuño Perez

Read more
Paula García Valentin

Paula García Valentin

Read more
Georgina del Rosario Farago Perez

Georgina del Rosario Farago Perez

Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Digestive Tract
Read more
Sebastian Tanco

Sebastian Tanco

Read more

Subscribe to our newsletters and be part of the Campus life

We are a world-leading healthcare complex where healthcare, research, teaching and innovation go hand in hand.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.