Donations are essential to enable our researchers to push the boundaries and accelerate their work to combat cancer. We also want to be able to provide the best possible conditions for patients receiving treatment at the Eugène Marquis Centre.
The Eugène Marquis Centre combines expertise, knowledge, listening services and quality care. As well as cancer specialists, we offer a range of innovative and effective technologies. We have one goal: to stay one step ahead in the fight against cancer.
A team is studying the role of Fas and FasL molecules in triple-negative (TN) breast cancers.
They have demonstrated that FasL levels are elevated in the serum of TN patients who experience a relapse within five years, as FasL triggers a migratory signal that encourages the invasion of tumour cells.
The team, who are working at the Eugène Marquis Comprehensive Cancer Centre [Centre de Lutte Contre le Cancer], have developed therapeutic molecules that inhibit the Fas signal. They are currently testing these molecules in breast cancers and lupus, having established a company to take the molecules to clinical trial (Apofas Biotech).
Project supervisor for the study: Patrick Legembre (also co-director of the COSS U1242 team)
Hormone therapy is commonly used in patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer. Such cancers can however develop a resistance to hormone therapy, in particular if tumour cells develop mutations in the ESR1 gene, which enables the production of oestrogen receptors.
Such mutations are relatively common (30%) in patients with metastatic cancer who have received aromatase inhibitor treatment. Studying these mutations could provide valuable information for clinicians: in the case of ESR1 mutations, it appears to be better to discontinue aromatase inhibitor-only treatment.
Several years ago, researchers discovered how to detect blood in genetic material from tumour cells, in particular in circulating free DNA (cfDNA). This approach, known as liquid biopsy, is well suited for use in research concerning ESR1 mutations, as it can be used in patients undergoing treatment. It is also much easier to take several blood samples during a follow-up appointment than to carry out numerous invasive tumour biopsies.
As the quantity of cfDNA is usually very low, highly sensitive techniques are needed to detect it.
In our project, we are comparing numerous techniques for analysing ESR1 mutations, in particular digital PCR testing, which can detect very low quantities of DNA. As a result of the study, we will be able to recommend the best technique for the routine detection of ESR1 mutations in patients.
Project supervisors for the study:
Centre Eugène Marquis
Service Dons et Legs
Avenue de la Bataille Flandres Dunkerque – CS 44229
35042 RENNES CEDEX
For individuals: By donating, you are entitled to claim a tax deduction equivalent to 66% of the value of the donation (cf. Article 200 of the French General Tax Code).
As such, if you donate €50 to the Eugène Marquis Centre, in reality it will cost you only €17.
For companies: By donating, you are entitled to claim a tax deduction equivalent to 60% of the value of the donation, up to a maximum of 0.5% of the company’s turnover (cf. Article 238 bis of the French General Tax Code).
As such, if you donate €50,000 to the Eugène Marquis Centre, in reality it will cost you only €20,000.
Medical publication in the New England Journal of Medicine — authors include Dr Brigitte Laguerre.
Every year, around 300,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with carcinoma** of the renal cells, leading to 129,000 deaths. The prognosis for patients with renal carcinoma depends on the stage of the disease and other risk factors.
Although the prognosis for patients with metastatic carcinoma of the renal cells has improved over the previous decade, no cure has yet been developed. Although various adjuvant strategies, including treatment with cytokines***, radiotherapy and hormone therapy, have been explored in an attempt to reduce the relapse rate, none have yet proven to be successful.
This study evaluates the efficacy and tolerance of Sunitinib compared with a placebo in preventing relapse in patients who have undergone surgery for non-metastatic renal carcinoma and who are at high risk of relapse.
In such patients, the average length of survival without relapse was significantly longer in the Sunitinib group than in the placebo group. The Sunitinib group did experience a higher rate of side effects, however. The data on overall survival are not yet available.
Although encouraging, these results are not enough to change current practices. There are therefore no post-surgery treatments available for patients who have undergone surgery for non-metastatic renal cancer.
* Sunitinib is a small molecule that inhibits tyrosine kinase and, importantly, limits cellular growth, tumour progression and metastasis development.
** Carcinoma is a malignant cancerous tumour.
*** Cytokines are substances produced by immune cells to regulate the activity and function of other cells.
Medical publication in The Lancet — authors include Dr Marc Pracht (Eugène Marquis Centre).
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common primitive liver cancers. It is the fifth most common form of cancer in the world and the second most lethal cancer.
There are no systemic treatments for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma that continues to progress despite treatment with Sorafenib.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Regorafenib in patients with HCC that progressed during treatment with Sorafenib.
This phase 3 study was carried out at 152 sites across 21 countries.
The study demonstrated that Regorafenib improved survival rates compared with a placebo in patients who were progressing during treatment with Sorafenib. Future research should assess combinations of Regorafenib with other systemic agents.
* Regorafenib is an oral agent that significantly inhibits numerous proteins responsible for tumour growth. In particular, it prevents the proliferation of tumour cells.
** Sorafenib is a small molecule capable of blocking certain proteins essential to the development of liver cancers. It has been proven to significantly improve survival rates compared with a placebo during first-line therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
Scientific publication in Chemical Communications — authors include Nicolas Lepareur.
DOTA is a molecule that is commonly used to attach metallic radionuclides* to targeting agents for tumour cells (peptides, antibodies, etc.) in nuclear medicine (e.g. 68Ga/177Lu-DOTA-NOC in imaging for treatment of neuroendocrine tumours or 90Y-DOTA-Rituximab for treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma) or as a contrast agent in an MRI with gadolinium (Dotarem™).
Research carried out by Nicolas Lepareur, a radiochemist working in the radiopharmacy department of the Eugène Marquis Centre, in partnership with the University of Brest and with Guerbet, leading company in the French medical imaging market, led to the development of a new family of molecules capable of complexing with yttrium-90, one of the radioisotopes most commonly used in nuclear medicine for therapeutic purposes (metabolic radiotherapy).
The research also demonstrated, for the first time, the influence of the symmetry of the molecule on the stability of the radiotracer, i.e. its capacity to remain attached to the tumour, thereby preserving healthy tissue.
We also demonstrated that dissymmetric radiotracers were easier to prepare and appear to be much more stable than symmetric equivalents. They were also more stable than 90Y-DOTA and could be prepared in easier conditions (lower temperature and reaction time).
The Royal Society of Chemistry considered the findings to be so innovative that they featured them on the cover of their journal.
* A metallic radionuclide is a metal that emits radioactive waves, the most well-known of which is technetium 99m (99mTc), which is routinely used in scintigraphy.