Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - NOTCHLUNG (Explore novel connections between oncogenic pathways in lung cancer)

Lung cancer causes about a million deaths per year and the estimation is that 250 million people will die during the 21st century for this reason. A major challenge in treating this and other cancers is the intrinsic resistance to conventional therapies demonstrated by the cancerous cells that are responsible for the sustained growth, survival, and invasion of the tumour. Identifying new pathways involved in the biological processes necessary for the survival of lung cancerous cells is paramount in developing new clinical approaches with the goal of preventing disease recurrence. Using mouse models, I have recently published as first and corresponding author in the journal Cancer Cell, that non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) are "addicted" to the Notch pathway. Importantly, inhibition of the Notch pathway arrests NSCLC growth in vivo, opening up a new therapeutic approach to the treatment of this disease. My first aim is to develop, in the next few years, a patient-derived tumour xenograft (PDTX) model to extend beyond the realms of rodents the proof of principle of using Notch inhibitors for the treatment of human NSCLC. My second aim will be to identify the different partners and components of the Notch pathway, required for this "addiction" and for the maintenance of NSCLC. Finally, using both NSCLC-prone mouse models and the PDTX model I will try to combine therapies currently in use to treat NSCLC with Notch pathway inhibition hoping to identify synergies between these treatments.
Since the beginning of this project, I have been able to start my laboratory hiring a technician and attract already one very talented post-doc and 2 Master Students with the idea that both will stay to perform the PhD but this will depend on the funding. Another postdoc is going to start at the end of 2016 and importantly, the head of thoracic oncology of Montpellier University Hospital, professor Jean-Louis Pujol has joined my lab to perform research with us:
Of note, thanks to the NOTCHLUNG grant we have developed enough preliminary data to obtain a very competitive national grant from Cancer National Institute (INCa). Even more, I have published already one paper as last author in Journal of Hypertension were it is mentioned: “This work was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (MINECO) (SAF2013-46663-R), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (RD12/ 0042/0028, RD12/0042/0009, MS-00151), Fondation ARC pour la recherche sur le cancer 
(PJA 20131200405), the European Commission (CIG631431) and Inserm (jeune chercheur accueilli)”.
Hence NOTCHLUNG have already allowed me to establish my laboratory at IRCM and during next two years will help me to achieve my ultimate goal, that is to find new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of the leading cause of death by Cancer in the world today.

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Life Sciences