The fundamental goal of B.Nadel’s laboratory is to contribute to cancer prevention, monitoring, and therapy, through the study of the pathological deregulations of lymphocyte differentiation.
Lymphoid neoplasms are cancers of the immune system, which afflict both adults and children, and account for 6-10% of all neoplastic diseases. Their development is a complex multistep process of genetic alterations and cellular transformations, which can take decades to progress into invasive and metastatic tumor. Alarmingly, and despite indisputable success achieved in the treatment of these malignancies, their incidence in westernized countries during the last 3 decades has been increasing more rapidly than that of most other tumors.
In parallel to pursue the current effort on developing innovative therapies, this underscores the critical importance to develop preventive strategies implemented at multiple levels: designed to improve general public health by the identification of risk factors, adapted to monitor “at-risk” individuals, tailored to “patients” identified at early stages of the disease. However, this approach requires prior in-depth understanding of the mechanisms by which lymphoid cells undergo neoplastic initiation and progression.
The project includes 3 main steps:
- in the short-term, further understand the molecular pathways involved in the process of oncogenic transformation in human hemopathies, using fine structural in vivo analysis of clinical materials, combined with the development of functional in vitro experimental systems and in vivo models of genetically modified mice;
- in a middle-term, exploit the experimental systems established, to identify the direct causative factors (genetic, environmental, iatrogenic) involved in the initiation of chromosomal alterations and disease progression, and to identify new therapeutic targets;
- in the long-term, and in close collaboration with clinicians, the implementation of this research into preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and disease monitoring programs of clinical significance.
The feasibility of this program, both at the research and clinical levels, require multiple know-how (molecular biology, immunology, oncology, epidemiology, clinical diagnosis..) which largely extend beyond the span of an isolated laboratory.
This multidisciplinary expertise requires in particular a tight interface between researchers and clinicians, which is currently operational through an excellent integration network operating:
- Regionally, through a privileged association between the laboratory, the AP-HM and the Institut Paoli-Calmettes (IPC),
- Nationally, through collaborations with numerous clinical institutions and reference centers for the pathologies studied, including the AP-HP (Necker/St-Louis), the IARC (Lyon) and the Carnot Institute of Lymphoma (CALYM),
- Internationally, in particular through a close collaboration with world-leading pathologists and a research contract with an industrial partner (in the frame of the national INSERM/InsermTransfert/MedImmune research partnership).