Cancer gene therapy

"We are evaluating the use of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) with immunomodulatory properties for cancer treatment."


Our group focuses its research on the development of vectors based on self-replicating RNA (saRNA) derived from alphaviruses to express immunostimulatory molecules locally in tumors. These vectors have advantages such as high expression, induction of type I interferon and apoptosis, as well as a high degree of biosafety, since they do not propagate.

Our main strategy is based on using saRNA vectors to express cytokines and antibodies against immunological checkpoints locally in tumors in various formats, such as monoclonal antibodies, nanobodies or immunocytokines, to avoid the systemic toxicity associated with these molecules. We are also evaluating the use of these vectors as tumor vaccines alone or in combination with CAR-T cells. We are currently optimizing systems to administer these vectors as nucleic acids (RNA or DNA), using in the latter case electroporation techniques or lipid nanoparticles.

Dr. Cristian Smerdou Picazo


   +34 948 194 700 | Ext. 81 4027
   Research profile

Objectives of the Cancer Gene Therapy
Research Group

Development of saRNA vectors expressing immunomodulatory nanobodies, immunocytokines and molecules inhibiting tumor cell adhesion and migration.

Development of non-viral vectors capable of efficiently transferring saRNA to tumors using lipid nanoparticles, cationic polymers or electroporation.

Development of new strategies to transfer DNA to tumors, including DNA capable of transcribing saRNA.

Meet the research team

Actividad científica del Grupo de Investigación de
Terapia Génica para Cáncer