StromaCare was structured around a research group (lien internet de la page du groupe) bringing together players in basic research from the Lyon Cancer Research Center (CRCL) and clinicians from the Centre Léon Bérard (Lyon Anti-Cancer Center – CLB).
The contribution of the tumor stroma to the development of cancer has been described in recent years in both humans and mice, identifying it as an important new player in neoplastic initiation and progression. The tumor stroma is made up of a variety of cellular components such as fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, blood vessels or cells of the immune system, as well as extracellular matrix proteins (ECM). It has been shown that sustained stromal activity is a factor of poor prognosis in cancer patients. In addition, overexpression of ECM proteins is associated with a poor prognosis. The role of the stroma, however, remains unclear with regard to its involvement in the progression and spread of cancer . The stroma probably provides aggressive behavior to the pancreatic tumor cells as well as escape from host immuno-surveillance, but at the same time, confers a barrier that limits the spread and metastasis of the tumor. In addition, an increased density of the pancreatic stroma can invalidate the penetration of chemotherapy molecules by acting as a physical barrier and increasing the rigidity of the tumor . All of these results demonstrate that the stroma has a very strong clinical impact on tumor progression.
Most therapeutic approaches directly target tumor cells and, until recently, largely ignored the desmoplastic stromal reaction, which characterizes several types of solid cancer. The identification of candidates jointly overexpressed in the tumor stroma and involved in immunosuppression could therefore provide new therapeutic targets.
StromaCare is dedicated to the development of innovative oncology drugs, based on modulation of stromal components, for the treatment of solid tumors. StromaCare will focus on the development of these innovative compounds from translational research to proof of concept in humans, which represents its specific know-how and area of expertise. StromaCare will direct its programs to the most attractive and value-creating point for potential partners.