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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: Colas Ortega, Eva

Projects

Cytomark, desenvolupament d'un test de diagnòstic no invasiu de càncer d'endometri.

IP: Colas Ortega, Eva
Collaborators: Denizli , Melek
Funding agency: AGAUR no fer servir-correcte 4301-37
Funding: 100000
Reference: 2021 PROD 00061
Duration: 19/10/2022 - 18/04/2024

Firmas de proteínas en aspirados uterinos para mejorar el diagnóstico de cáncer de endometrio "El proyecto CEMARK".

IP: Colas Ortega, Eva
Collaborators: -
Funding agency: Fundación Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
Funding: 40000
Reference: BBVA/LEONARDO/2022
Duration: 31/10/2022 - 30/04/2024

Recerca biomèdica en ginecologia

IP: Colas Ortega, Eva
Collaborators: Izquierdo Sans , Miriam
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Funding: 308600
Reference: CP22/00147
Duration: 01/03/2023 - 28/02/2028

Recerca biomèdica en ginecologia

IP: Gil Moreno, Antonio
Collaborators: Rodriguez Gómez - Hidalgo , Natalia, Suarez Salvador, Elena, Poza Barrasus, Jose Luis, Bebia Conesa, Vicente , García Jiménez, Angel, Perez Benavente, Maria Asuncion, Masferrer Ferragutcasas, Carina, Colas Ortega, Eva, Salicrú Riera, Sabina, De la Torre Fdez de Vega, Fco Javier, Recerca biomèdica en ginecologia, Cubo Abert, Montserrat, Cabrera Diaz, Silvia, Mañalich Barrachina, Laura, Rebull Santamaria, Marta, Armengol Alsina, Mireia, Recerca biomèdica en ginecologia, De la Calle Fuentes, Irene, Sánchez Iglesias, José Luis, Bradbury Lobato, Melissa, Villafranca Magdalena, Beatriz, Denizli , Melek, Cabre Fernandez, Paula
Funding agency: AGAUR no fer servir-correcte 4301-37
Funding: 40000
Reference: 2021 SGR 01157
Duration: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

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