Research in Oncological Pathology and Bioinformatics (PO&B)


The Research Group on Oncological Pathology and Bioinformatics (PO&B) is a specific platform for research activities focused on cancer and digital image analysis and mathematical modeling.

  • Marylène Lejeune

  • Carlos López Pablo

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The PO&B team of the IISPV, based at the Hospital de Tortosa Verge de la Cinta, has been working for more than 15 years on the prevention and advanced diagnosis of cancer. Led by Dra. Marylène Lejeune and Dr. Carlos López, the PO&B team is an interdisciplinary group that includes pathologists, oncologists, hematologists, biologists, and computer specialists, with strategic clinical and methodological skills for the development of the group’s research lines. During all these years, the group has had different projects financed jointly with national collaborators (Rovira i Virgili University [URV] of Tarragona; University of Castilla-La Mancha; Puerta del Mar University Hospital of Cádiz; University of Las Palmas de Gran Canary Islands) and international (Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering in Warsaw, Poland; University of Caen, France).

The consolidated lines of research of the PO&B team focus on the study of the tumor microenvironment through digital image analysis and mathematical modeling. The immune response is one of the components of the tumor microenvironment that has been shown to play an important role in the evolution of cancer patients. Changes in the type and amount of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment have been related to differences in disease functionality. Our team has studied these changes through the development of new computer-assisted image analysis algorithms capable of providing more accurate and reproducible automated quantification of immune biomarkers with immunohistochemical and fluorescence staining.

The PO&B group has been recognized as a URV group since 2016, as an emerging group since 2009 and consolidated since 2014 by the Agency for the Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR). Team members also coordinate the IISPV’s cross-platform and support platform for histological, pathological, and digitization studies.

The group is working with the strategic goal of improving the administration of current cancer treatments and detecting new therapeutic targets in breast cancer and lymphomas to reduce the risk of relapse and improve patient survival. The group’s lines of research are as follows:

1) Study of biomarker patterns of the tumor microenvironment. This line of research aims to identify patterns of immune response of the tumor microenvironment and etiological, pathophysiological, and prognostic factors linked to models of neoplasia progression (breast cancer and lymphoproliferative syndromes). These objectives can help to understand the biological mechanisms involved in the resistance to chemotherapy and the obtaining of new therapeutic targets with the capacity to intervene, as well as the constitution of new key factors in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of these patients.

2) Morphometry and applied computing. This line of research aims to develop and improve new computer aids for computer-assisted image analysis to allow a more accurate and reproducible automated quantification of biomarkers of tumor cells and host of the tumor microenvironment with immunohistochemical staining. and fluorescence.

3) Translational research in hematological diseases: evaluation of diagnostic protocols and treatments. This line of research aims to expand the existing prior knowledge of blood diseases, of new procedures suitable for their diagnosis, and, very especially, of new treatments that allow the cure or at least prolong the life of the blood. people suffering from a hematological disease whether neoplastic or not.


    Clustered nuclei splitting based on recurrent distance transform in digital pathology images.

    Autors: Lukasz Roszkowiak L, KorzynskaA, Pijanowska D, Bosch R, Lejeune M, Lopez C.

    Revista: EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing

    Any i pàgina: EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing volume 2020, Article number: 26 (2020)

    Integrating the tumor microenvironment into cancer therapy.

    Autors: Sanegre S, Lucantoni F, Burgos-Panadero R, de La Cruz-Merino L, Noguera R, Álvaro Naranjo T.

    Revista: Cancers (Basel)

    Any i pàgina: 2020 Jun 24;12(6). pii: E1677. doi: 10.3390/cancers12061677

    Hyperspectral imaging and deep learning for the detection of breast cancer cells in digitized histological images

    Autors: Ortega S, Halicek M, Fabelo H, Guerra R, Lopez C, Lejaune M, Godtliebsen F, Callico GM, Fei B.

    Revista: Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng

    Any i pàgina: 2020 Feb;11320. pii: 113200V. doi: 10.1117/12.2548609.

    An integral view of cancer (III). Evaluation of new biomarkers and treatment strategies

    Autors: Noguera R, Burgos-Panadero R, Lucantoni F, de la Cruz-Merino L, Álvaro Naranjo T.

    Revista: Rev Esp Patol

    Any i pàgina: 2020 Apr – Jun;53(2):88-99. doi: 10.1016/j.patol.2019.08.001. Epub 2019 Nov 22

    Conditional generative adversarial network for synthesizing hyperspectral images of breast cancer cells from digitized histology.

    Autors: Halicek M, Ortega S, Fabelo H, Lopez C, Lejaune M, Callico GM, Fei B.

    Revista: Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng

    Any i pàgina: 2020 Feb;11320. pii: 113200U. doi: 10.1117/12.2549994.


    Application of a digital PCR method for WT1 to myeloid neoplasms in CR and deep ELN WT1 molecular response (<10 copies).

    Autors: Bussaglia E, Pratcorona M, Carricondo M, Sansegundo L, Rubio MA, Monter A, Brell A, Badell I, Esteve J, Arnan M, Talarn C, Tormo M, García A, Vall-Llovera F, Ortin X, Pedro C, Bargay J, Brunet S, Sierra J, Nomdedéu J.

    Revista: Ann Hematol

    Any i pàgina: 2020 Apr;99(4):765-772. doi: 10.1007/s00277-020-03910-0. Epub 2020 Feb 15.

    Differences in the immune response of the non-metastatic axillary lymph nodes between triple-negative and luminal A breast cancer surrogate subtypes.

    López C, Gibert-Ramos A, Bosch R, Korzynska A, García-Rojo M, Bueno G, García-Fontgivell JF, González SM, Fontoura L, Navarro AG, Colón ES, Ribes JC, Roszkowiak L, Roso A, Berenguer M, Llobera M, Baucells J, Lejeune M.
    2020 Dec 10 [Epub ahead of print]. Am J Pathol
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2020.11.008

    The Immune Response in Nonmetastatic Axillary Lymph Nodes Is Associated with the Presence of Axillary Metastasis and Breast Cancer Patient Outcome

    López C, Bosch R, Orero G, Korzynska A, García-Rojo M, Bueno G, Fernández-Carrobles MDM, Gibert-Ramos A, Roszkowiak L, Callau C, Fontoura L, Salvadó MT, Álvaro T, Jaén J, Roso-Llorach A, Llobera M, Gil J, Onyos M, Plancoulaine B, Baucells J, Lejeune M.
    Am J Pathol. 2020 Mar;190(3):660-673.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2019.11.002


    Potential Molecular Players of the Tumor Microenvironment in Extracranial Pediatric Solid Tumors.

    Noguera R, Álvaro Naranjo.
    Cancers (Basel). 2020 Oct 9;12(10):2905.
    DOI: 10.3390/cancers12102905


    Comparative clinical prognosis of massive and non-massive pulmonary embolism: a registry-based cohort study.

    Blondon M, Jimenez D, Robert-Ebadi H, Del Toro J, Lopez-Jimenez L, Falga C, Skride A, Font L, Vazquez FJ, Bounameaux H, Monreal M; RIETE investigators.
    2020 Dec 19 [Epub ahead of print]. J Thromb Haemost
    DOI: 10.1111/jth.15146


    Peritumoral immune infiltrates in primary tumours are not associated with the presence of axillary lymph node metastasis in breast cancer: a retrospective cohort study

    López C, Bosch-Príncep R, Orero G, Fontoura Balagueró L, Korzynska A, García-Rojo M, Bueno G, Fernández-Carrobles MDM, Roszkowiak L, Callau Casanova C, Salvadó-Usach MT, Jaén Martínez J, Gibert-Ramos A, Roso-Llorach A, Gras Navarro A, Berenguer-Poblet M, Llobera M, Gil Garcia J, Tomás B, Gestí V, Laine E, Plancoulaine B, Baucells J, Lejeune M.
    PeerJ. 2020 Sep 2;8:e9779.
    DOI: 10.7717/peerj.9779


    Increased survival time or better quality of life? Trade-off between benefits and adverse events in the systemic treatment of cancer.

    Valentí V, Ramos J, Pérez C, Capdevila L, Ruiz I, Tikhomirova L, Sánchez M, Juez I, Llobera M, Sopena E, Rubió J, Salazar R.
    Clin Transl Oncol. 2020 Jun;22(6):935-942.
    DOI: 10.1007/s12094-019-02216-6

    Impact of Implementing a Dyslipidemia Management Guideline on Cholesterol Control for Secondary Prevention of Ischemic Heart Disease in Primary Care.

    Forcadell Drago E, Dalmau Llorca MR, Aguilar Martín C, Ferreira-González I, Hernández Rojas Z, Gonçalves AQ, López-Pablo C.
    Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 19;17(22):8590.
    DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17228590


    Coping Strategies, Quality of Life, and Neurological Outcome in Patients Treated with Mechanical Thrombectomy after an Acute Ischemic Stroke.

    S Reverté-Villarroya, A Dávalos, S Font-Mayolas, M Berenguer-Poblet, E Sauras-Colón, C López-Pablo, E Sanjuan-Menéndez , L Muñoz-Narbona, R Suñer-Soler
    Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Aug 19;17(17):6014.
    DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17176014


    Developing indicators for quality assurance in cytopathology.

    Tresserra F,  Temprana  J, Vasquez C, Lloveras B, Català I,  Tarroch X, Combalia N,  Alameda F,  Bosch R, Gallardo J, Mancebo E,  Fabra G, Dinares MC, Santacana M,  Gonzalez C, Pérez-Ochoa F.
    2020 Oct 19 [Epub ahead of print]. Diagn Cytopathol
    DOI: 10.1002/dc.24639



    Differential characteristics of the typical and atypical advanced interatrial block

    Gentille-Lorente D, Salvadó-Usach T.
    Arch Cardiol Mex. 2020;90(3):266-273.
    DOI: 10.24875/ACM.20000240

    [Clinical, electrical and echocardiographic characteristics of patients with advanced interatrial block]

    Gentille-Lorente D, Salvadó-Usach T.
    Arch Cardiol Mex. 2020 Nov 24;91(1):135-138.
    DOI: 10.24875/ACM.20000239


    The immune response in non-metastatic axillary lymph nodes is associated with the presence of axillary metastasis and breast cancer patient outcome

    Autors: López C, Bosch R, Orero G, Korzynska A, García-Rojo M, Bueno G, Fernández-Carrobles MM, Gibert-Ramos A, Roszkowiak L, Callau C, Fontoura L, Salvadó MT, Álvaro T, Jaén J, Roso-Llorach A, Llobera M, Gil J, Onyos M,  Plancoulaine B,  Baucells J, Lejeune M.

    Revista: Am J Pathol

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Dec 19. pii: S0002-9440(19)30860-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2019.11.002.

    Immune response profile of primary tumour, sentinel and non-sentinel axillary lymph nodes related to metastasis in breast cancer: An immunohistochemical point of view

    Autors: Gibert-Ramos A, López C, Bosch R, Fontoura L, Bueno G, García-Rojo M, Berenguer M, Lejeune M.

    Revista: Histochem Cell Biol

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Jul 13. doi: 10.1007/s00418-019-01802-7

    The Tumour microenvironment as an integrated framework to understand cancer biology

    Autors: Burgos-Panadero R, Lucantoni F, Gamero-Sandemetrio E, Cruz-Merino L, Naranjo TÁ, Noguera R.

    Revista: Cancer Lett

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Jul 17. pii: S0304-3835(19)30406-9. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2019.07.010

    An integral view of cancer (I). The study, classification and reprogramming of the tumoral microclimate

    Autors: Noguera R, Burgos-Panadero R, Gamero-Sandemetrio E, de la Cruz-Merino L, Álvaro Naranjo T.

    Revista: Rev Esp Patol

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Apr – Jun;52(2):92-102. doi: 10.1016/j.patol.2018.11.003. Epub 2019 Feb 10

    An integral view of cancer (II). Fields of investigation and emerging biomarkers

    Autors: Noguera R, Burgos-Panadero R, Gamero-Sandemetrio E, de la Cruz-Merino L, Álvaro Naranjo T.

    Revista: Rev Esp Patol

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Oct – Dec;52(4):222-233. doi: 10.1016/j.patol.2019.04.005. Epub 2019 Jun 11

    The medicine of cancer: Can the solutions be found in our own back yard?

    Autors: Naranjo T.

    Revista: Rev Esp Patol

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Apr – Jun;52(2):69-71. doi: 10.1016/j.patol.2018.10.004.

    The poor prognosis of low hypodiploidy in adults with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is restricted to older adults and elderly patients

    Autors: Ribera J, Granada I, Morgades M, Vives S, Genescà E, González C, Nomdedeu J, Escoda L, Montesinos P, Mercadal S, Coll R, González-Campos J, Abella E, Barba P, Bermúdez A, Gil C, Tormo M, Pedreño M, Martínez-Carballeira D, Hernández-Rivas JM, Orfao A, Martínez-López J, Esteve J, Bravo P, Garcia-Guiñon A, Debén G, Moraleda JM, Quiezán JA, Ortín X, Moreno MJ, Feliu E, Solé F, Ribera JM; PETHEMA Group, Spanish Society of Haematology.

    Revista: Br J Haematol

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Jul;186(2):263-268. doi: 10.1111/bjh.15887.

    Prediction of early mortality in patients with cancer-associated thrombosis in the RIETE database

    Autors: Fuentes HE, Tafur AJ, Caprini JA, Alatri A, Trujillo-Santos J, Farge-Bancel D, Rosa V, Font L, Vilaseca A, Monreal M; RIETE Investigators.

    Revista: Int Angiol

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Jun;38(3):173-184. doi: 10.23736/S0392-9590.19.04110-5

    Gestational diabetes impacts fetal precursor cell responses with potential consequences for offspring

    Autors: Algaba-Chueca F, Maymó-Masip E, Ejarque M, Ballesteros M, Llauradó G, López C, Guarque A, Serena C, Martínez-Guasch L, Gutiérrez C, Bosch R, Vendrell J, Megía A, Fernández-Veledo S.

    Revista: Stem Cells Transl Med

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Dec 27. doi: 10.1002/sctm.19-0242

    Ten-year follow-up of clinical governance implementation in primary care: Improving screening, diagnosis and control of cardiovascular risk factors

    Autors: Aguilar Martín C, Gonçalves AQ, López-Pablo C, Fernández-Sáez J, Forcadell Drago E, Hernández Rojas Z, Pepió Vilaubí JM, Rodríguez Cumplido D, Piñol JL, Bladé-Creixenti J, Dalmau Llorca MR

    Revista: Int J Environ Res Public Health

    Any i pàgina: 2019 Nov 5;16(21). pii: E4299. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16214299

  • Title: R-GDP with Lenalidomide (R2-GDP) in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (r/r DLBCL) not suitable for high dose therapy and stem-cell transplantation.

    Funding entity: Celgene

    Duration: 2014-2019

    Principal Investigator: Luis de la Cruz Merino (GOTEL)

    Collaborationg investigators: T. Álvaro MD, PhD – M. Lejeune BSc, PhD

  • Title: Incidencia de carcinoma in situ y cáncer de cérvix específica por genotipo del virus del papiloma humano (VPH) en las provincias de Girona y de Tarragona.

    Funding entity: ICO

    Duration: 2014-2018

    Principal Investigator: Silvia de Sanjosé Llongueras

    Collaborationg investigators: R. Bosch MD.

  • Title: Análisis automatizado de biomarcadores del microambiente tumoral en cáncer de mama triple negativo sin respuesta patológica completa a la neoadyuvancia. Factores predictivos de recaída (PI13/02501).

    Funding entity: Instituto de Salud Carlos III

    Duration: 2014-06/2017

    Principal Investigator: M. Lejeune BSc, PhD.

  • Title: Desarrollo de metodologías automatizadas para establecer patrones de respuesta inmune mediante la cuantificación de marcadores inmunohistoquímicos en cáncer de mama (PI11/00488).

    Funding entity: Instituto de Salud Carlos III

    Duration: 2012-2014

    Principal Investigator: C. López BSc, PhD.

Team Members

  • Group Leader, PhD

    • Marylène Lejeune
    • Carlos López Pablo
  • Clinical researcher

    • Mª Teresa Giménez Pérez
    • Antonio Rizo Barrios
    • Daniel Mata Cano
    • Ramon Bosch Príncep
    • Tomàs Alvaro Naranjo
    • Montserrat Llobera Serentill
    • Xavier Ortín Font
    • Marta Rodríguez Luaces
  • Laboratory technicians

    • Ainhoa Montserrat Fontanet
    • Bàrbara Tomàs Arasa
    • Vanessa Gestí García
    • Anna Curto Subirats
    • Monsterrat Salvado Piñol
    • Noelia Burgués Llaó
    • Anna Suñé Martín
    • Eduard Nolla Villalonga
    • Almudena Nàgera Porres
    • Maria del Mar Barberà Marro
    • Beatriu Domènech Grau
    • Marc Iniesta Valldepérez
    • Maria Cinta Curto Anoll
    • Ana Guasch Bosch
  • Research and computer technicians

    • Jordi Baucells Lluís
    • Esther Sauras Colon
    • Júlia Casanova Ribes
  • External collaborators

    • Anna Korzynska
    • Benoît Plancoulaine
    • Nicolas Elie
    • Gustavo Marrero Callico
    • Gloria Bueno
    • Domènec Puig Valls
    • Marcial García-Rojo