Cancer Immune Surveillance and Therapeutic Targeting


The immune system is one of the main barriers protecting the organism from tumor development. Our objective is to identify immunosurveillance and immune resistance mechanisms in solid tumours. A major effort of the team aims to decipher important mechanisms of innate immune sensing of the very early stages of cell transformation in Breast cancer and Colon carcinoma using unbiased system biology and biologically-driven approaches both in human and mice.

The project is driven by the hypothesis that cooperation between dendritic cells and other innate cells (neutrophils, NK cells) is essential to sense cell transformation and initiate adaptive immunity. This program pursued by the groups of Dr Nathalie BENDRISS-VERMARE and Dr Marie-Cecile MICHALLET is expected to reveal important novel escape mechanisms that could be targeted in established tumors.

Complementary projects are centered on adaptive immunity and include: i) the role of humoral immunity, B cell populations, Tertiary Lymphoid Structures (TLS) and antibody isotypes in tumor immune surveillance and efficiency of immunotherapy, in  Dr B. DUBOIS’ group; ii) mechanisms of immune suppression mediated by regulatory T cells, in Christine MENETRIER-CAUX’ group.

Identified targets will be pursued for drug development and immune intervention through biotech and pharma partnerships. All these programs are enriched by ongoing immunotherapy clinical trials monitored within the Lyon Immunotherapy of Cancer Laboratory (LICL, head Dr C. CAUX) allowing to explore hypotheses and validate targets in patients.