31 Jan 2018

Ideation: Leading the Search for Tumor Biomarkers

The Ideation project, led by professors Jean-Philippe Spano and Brigitte Autran, practitioners at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital AP-HP and professors at Sorbonne University, have received 1.5 million euros in financial support from MSDAVENIR, an endowment fund for research in life sciences, in partnership with the Sorbonne University Foundation. Ideation is an oncology research project with the goal of identifying new tumor biomarkers.

Through this work, the Sorbonne University and AP-HP research teams will work to discover new biological characteristics of rare but severe tumors, which appear in patients whose immune systems are very weak, as well as in patients with rare brain tumors (an environment with fewer immune cells).

"We seek to better understand the role of the immune system in dealing with rare cancers by not only basing ourselves on studying the cancer cell but also examining the tumor microenvironment," explained Professor Jean-Philippe Spano. "We are trying to determine the biomarkers that will intervene in the immune response."

The tumors studied share the following characteristics: a deficient immune environment, a severe situation, and the absence or scarcity of genetic and immunogenetic data. This innovative program will be implemented at the Pitié-Salpêtrière AP-HP university hospital in the framework of the four reference centers for rare cancers and the CLIP Galilee (a national cancer institute accredited early-stage center) under the aegis of the University Institute of Oncology.

"We are very happy to support the Ideation teams. The scale and ambition of this project are proof of the dynamism and excellence of French research, particularly in the key field of oncology in which France occupies a prominent place" said Dominique Blazy, president of the scientific council of MSDAVENIR.

With the support of MSDAVENIR, this research should help to better understand these rare tumors and open up new therapeutic perspectives for patients.