Advances in oncology over the last 20 years have doubled the cure rate of this disease to reach 40-50% globally. Different strategies have led to remarkable therapeutic advances including:
- targeting specific genetic mutations;
- inhibition tumor vascularization;
- reactivation of the patient's antitumor immune system.
Despite these encouraging results, many patients do not respond to these treatments and certain cancers remain incurable, especially in the metastatic phase. Understanding the mechanisms that allow tumors to escape current therapies is therefore essential.
Our research programs aim to study the development of resistance to treatments by tumor cells with a focus on kidney and breast cancer in adults and the brain cancer in children. Numerous strategies are dedicated to identification of the processes responsible for the evolution of a localized cancer, stemming from a not very aggressive state to a disseminated and incurable tumor. These factors make it possible to anticipate relapses and thus optimize treatment strategies. Additionally, these factors could also serve as relevant therapeutic targets. These ambitious research programs require knowledge and specialized equipment to discover new therapeutic targets and test innovative treatments. Our research uses elaborate techniques such as "CRISPR-Cas9" to allow the inactivation of genes of implicated in cancer development in laboratory cellular models. Our projects involve close collaborations with the surgical and pathology departments of several hospitals such as the Princess Grace Hospital, the CHU and the Antoine Lacassagne Center in Nice along with the Curie Institute in Paris. Creation of this "virtuous circle" of researchers/clinicians will contribute to a better knowledge of the mechanisms involved in adult and pediatric cancer pathology. Through this, the research developed at the CSM will refine precision medicine by considering that each patient is a unique case to be cared for in a personalized way.