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Manuel Comabella Lopez

El Dr. Manuel Comabella es licenciado en Medicina y Cirugía por la Universidad de Barcelona, especialista en Neurología por el Servicio de Neurología del Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron (HUVH) y Doctor en Medicina y Cirugía por la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Desde el 2004 es el Director del laboratorio de Neuroinmunología Clínica de la Fundació Institut de Recerca del HUVH. Desde junio de 2008 forma parte del equipo del Servicio de Neurología / Neuroinmunología del HUVH de Barcelona – Centre d’Esclerosi Múltiple de Catalunya (Cemcat), donde actualmente es adjunto.

Instituciones de las que forman parte

Investigador predoctoral
Neuroinmunología Clínica
Vall Hebron Institut de Recerca
Responsable Laboratori
Centro de Esclerosis Múltiple de Cataluña
En 1996-1998, el Dr. Manuel Comabella realizó una estancia de investigación en Neuroinmunología en el Center for Neurologic Diseases del Brigham and Women´s Hospital, en Boston. En 2010 recibió el premio de las Ayudas Merck Serono en el área de investigación en esclerosis múltiple. En 2011 recibió el Premio Biogen Idec de la Sociedad Española de Neurología (SEN) al mejor trabajo publicado en enfermedades desmielinizantes. En 2013 recibió el Premio Novartis de la SEN al mejor trabajo publicado y a la mejor comunicación oral sobre enfermedades desmielinizantes. En 2014 recibió el Premio Enfermedades Neurológicas de la SEN en la modalidad científica. En 2016 recibió el premio de las Ayudas Merck Serono en el área de investigación en esclerosis múltiple. En 2018-2020, el Dr. Manuel Comabella fue colaborador del área de Biomedicina de la División de Coordinación, Evaluación y Seguimiento Científico técnico de la Agencia Estatal de Investigación, Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación, y Universidades. Desde junio de 2008 forma parte del equipo del Servicio de Neurología / Neuroinmunología del HUVH de Barcelona – Centre d’Esclerosi Múltiple de Catalunya (Cemcat), donde actualmente es adjunto.

Es miembro del Editorial Board de las revistas Multiple Sclerosis Journal y Journal of Neuroimmunology, miembro del Board de la ESNI (European School of Neuroimmunology), y miembro del Grupo Estratégico del IMSGC (International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium). Es coautor de 297 artículos indexados en MedLine (Scopus: 12916 citaciones recibidas, con índice h de 54). Su foco fundamental de investigación es la identificación de biomarcadores relacionados con diferentes aspectos de la esclerosis múltiple y el desarrollo de nuevos tratamientos para la enfermedad.

Líneas de investigación

Susceptibility, diagnostic and prognostic markers in multiple sclerosis

2.1. Search for casual variants of genes associated with MS 

Lead scientist: Manuel Comabella

This line of research seeks to identify causal variants responsible for the MS risk of genes found to be associated with the disease in GWAS by means if deep sequencing.

2.2. To develop dynamic risk scores according to dynamic prognostic models for MS based on clinical, biological and radiological variables

Lead scientist: Mar Tintoré

In particular: 

1. Develop a dynamic risk score based on the evaluation of demographical, clinical, radiological, and biological factors that entail a higher risk of developing a second relapse after a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), i.e. risk of CDMS, through building models of a dynamic nature.

2. Develop a dynamic risk score based on the evaluation of demographical, clinical, radiological, and biological factors entail a higher risk of progression of disability, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) (Kurtzke Neurology 1983), in people who have suffered a CIS, also through building models of a dynamic nature.

Since 1995, patients presenting with a CIS or first attack suggestive of MS are included in a prospective cohort study. One thousand and one hundred CIS patients with a median follow-up of almost 10 years, have been included up to now. Clinical variables (age, gender, topography of the syndrome), radiological variables (number of lesions, number of Barkhof criteria, topography of the lesions, atrophy measures), as well as biological markers (IgG and IgM oligoclonal bands). In a subgroup of patients additional biomarkers (neurofilaments light and heavy chains, fetuin A, GFAP, anti-neurofascin antibodies, anti-glycan panel, chitinase, S1P, etc.) are studied as predictors of conversion to MS and as predictors of disability progression. Mathematical and marginal structural models with different combinations of the variables listed above are investigated.

2.3. Neuropsychological assessment of neurocognitive deficits in patients with multiple sclerosis

Lead scientist: Mª Jesús Arévalo

Unified neuropsychological assessment is considered necessary to make comparisons between different groups of patients and to draw general conclusions as well as to evolve in the knowledge of cognitive impairment of patients.

There is no consensus on protocols for neuropsychological assessment of people with MS in Catalonia and patient evaluations are performed disparately among different hospitals. Neurologists and neuropsychologists from 13 hospitals and patient foundations from Catalonia have held work meetings every two months since July 2012 to seek common work ground. Consensus has been reached as to a common neuropsychological protocol for the assessment of cognitive impairment in MS. We have set up a common database including clinical and neuropsychological variables recorded from interviews with patients introduced into one application.

Our work group has been incorporated into the Neuropsychology Section of the Official College of Psychology of Catalonia.

2.4. Upper limbs function and psychometric properties of outcome measures

Lead scientist: Núria Filló / Ingrid Galán

Upper limbs impairment impacts on daily activities and social participation of persons with MS. Under-recognition of upper limb dysfunction may result in part from limited availability of performance-based and patient self-report measures that are validated for use in MS and that can be readily incorporated into clinical practice for screening and regularly scheduled assessments This line of research seeks to study the psychometric properties of outcome measures for upper limb function in MS.

2.5 EpidEMcat

Lead scientist: Susana Otero

The Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat) coordinates a project that aims to characterize the epidemiology of MS in Catalonia. For this purpose, a prospective registry of new cases of MS in Catalonia was set up in 2009 with the participation of 21 hospitals throughout Catalonia. Prevalence and incidence studies based on this population-based registry are being performed. A new research line on co-morbidity and healthcare resource utilization in MS patients is now starting.

2.6 Search of genetic modifiers associated with aggressive and benign disease courses

Lead scientist: Manuel Comabella

We aim to identify genetic variants that influence the course of the disease by means of exome sequencing of MS patients with divergent clinical courses, i.e. aggressive and benign disease courses.

2.7 Search of biomarkers for multiple sclerosis by RNA, microRNA and exome sequencing approaches

Lead scientist: Manuel Comabella

Biomarkers are needed in MS to understand the complex and multifactorial heterogeneity of the disease, particularly disease activity biomarkers that may help to distinguish between different MS clinical courses or activity phases of the disease. Here, we aimed to identify disease activity biomarkers in MS by applying RNA, microRNA, and DNA sequencing approaches.

IP: Manuel Comabella Lopez, Mar Tintore Subirana, Jaume Sastre Garriga, M Jesus Arevalo Navines, Susana Otero Romero

Study of the response to interferon-beta treatment in multiple sclerosis patients

3.1. Clinical, radiological and biological prognostic factors of response to treatment with interferon-beta

Lead scientist: Jordi Río / Manuel Comabella

Cohort study to establish outcome measures for clinical trials with clinical validity and clinical and radiological indicators associated with poor response to interferon-beta treatment.

Study to identify gene signatures that may predict the good or bad response to interferon-beta in patients with MS before initiating treatment or in the first months of treatment and to identify gene expression signatures that may help to predict patients who will develop neutralizing antibodies against interferon-beta.

3.2. Clinical practice guideline on MS

Lead scientist: Susana Otero

A collaborative project to develop a clinical practice guideline on Multiple Sclerosis undertaken by Catalan Agency for Health Information, Assessment and Quality (AIAQS) and the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat) was launched in 2010, with the participation of all opinion leading healthcare professionals involved in the management of MS. The guideline is based on the methodology set by the National Guidelines Program of the Spanish National Health Service using the recently established GRADE system of rating quality of evidence and grading strength of recommendations. The guideline is now finalized and available in its complete version and in a quick guide for easy access to the recommendations and algorithms. A Catalan and English version will also be available in the near future.

IP: Manuel Comabella Lopez, Jordi Rio Izquierdo

MRI measures of neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis - Clinical implications

Lead scientist: Jaume Sastre-Garriga / Deborah Pareto

Brain volumetry is about to take a central role in the management of patients with MS. Recent evidence suggests that the neurodegenerative process can be reliably estimated in vivo with the help of MRI and appropriate software tools, and that such measurements are clinically relevant both for prognosis as well as in monitoring of treatment response. In the Clinical Neuroimmunology Group, brain volumetry estimates have been already obtained using well-tested methodologies in selected cohorts and its clinical relevance has been confirmed. New, more sophisticated software tools to obtain in-depth measuring of brain and spinal cord areas are now being tested for clinical relevance. This has been achieved through collaboration with the MRI Unit at the Institut de Diagnòstic per la Imatge.

IP: Manuel Comabella Lopez, Carmen Espejo Ruiz, Jordi Barquinero Mañez, Nicolás Miguel Fissolo


Complicacions neurològiques associades a cèl·lules CAR-T (CAR-T: Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell)

IP: Manuel Comabella Lopez
Colaboradores: Andreu Vilaseca Jolonch, Miriam Izquierdo Sans
Entidad financiadora: Fundació Institut de Recerca HUVH
Financiación: 35000
Duración: 01/06/2022 - 31/05/2023

Human induced pluripotent stem cell-based chimeric mice to study astrocyte pathology and neuroprotective strategies in multiple sclerosis patients

IP: Manuel Comabella Lopez
Colaboradores: Clara Matute Blanch, Andres Miguez Gonzalez, Rucsanda Pinteac
Entidad financiadora: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Financiación: 286770
Referencia: PI21/01611
Duración: 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2024

Search of prognostic factors of conversion to multiple sclerosis in patients with radiologically isolated syndrome_RIS

IP: Manuel Comabella Lopez
Colaboradores: -
Entidad financiadora: National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Financiación: 300486.36
Referencia: RIS_NMSS-PMSC2021
Duración: 01/05/2022 - 30/04/2024

A study to perform a Genome-wide association study (GWAS) that search for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the progression of the disease.

IP: Manuel Comabella Lopez
Colaboradores: -
Entidad financiadora:
Referencia: PR(AG)224/2019
Duración: -

Noticias relacionadas

La investigación dirigida por Vall d’Hebron es un avanzo en la busca de tratamientos específicos y efectivos para la enfermedad.

El estudio realizado en Vall d’Hebron indica que tener niveles altos en las cadenas ligeras de neurofilamentos se traduce, pasados los años, a un nivel de discapacidad más grande.

La investigación buscará identificar qué pacientes con síndrome radiológico aislado son más propensos a desarrollar la enfermedad.

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