Tumor Type

France
Uterine Cancer - Carcinosarcoma
Project Profile
Funding Organizations
Research Organizations
Research Activities
Publication Policy

1:   ICGC Goals, Structure, Policies and Guidelines Section E.3 - Publication Policy HTML 
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Clinic & Pathology

France: Centre Léon-Bérard
Hôpital Croix Rousse (Hospices Civils de Lyon) (HCL)
Centre Georges François Leclerc (CGFL)
Centre Jean Perrin
Institut Bergonié
Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest (ICO)

Centre Léon Bérard (CLB)
The Centre Léon Bérard is a specialised cancer hospital based in Lyon and is a member of UNICANCER (a group assembling 20 French hospitals dedicated to cancer patients). The Centre Léon Bérard has three essential missions: treatment, research and training. The purpose of the centre is to offer quality care to people suffering from cancer. This care includes diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation of the patient, screening and prevention as well as innovation (with teams dedicated to fundamental, transferable and clinical research). More than 25,000 patients are treated each year at the CLB, and 1500 people are employed there.

Hôpital Croix Rousse (Hospices Civils de Lyon, HCL)
The Hospices Civils de Lyon are a public establishment and the second “Centre Hospitalier Universitaire" of France. The HCL assemble highly competent personnel from all disciplines and has access to a wide range of human, technical and logistical support to ensure their aims of care, treatment, research and medical innovation, prevention and health education. More than 22,000 professionals work to achieve its goal: to contribute to the continuous improvement of health. The Hospices Civils de Lyon comprises 14 multidisciplinary or specialised establishments, with the Croix Rousse hospital offering complete care in numerous specialties including hepato-gastroenterology, surgery, gynaecology, obstetrics or neonatology.

Centre Georges François Leclerc (CGFL)
The Centre Georges François is a specialised cancer hospital based in Dijon and is one of 20 centres for cancer in France included in the UNICANCER group. The aims of the centre are prevention, screening, care, training and research. The CGFL has top-of-the-range technologies and treatments to offer its patients, as well as top quality care. It offers all services and materials for screening, diagnosis, treatment and care of cancer (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, laboratories, nuclear medicine, and radiology), full hospitalisation or weekly or daily treatment at home. Four thousand patients are hospitalised each year and 580 people work at the Centre.

Centre Jean Perrin
A major actor in the fight against cancer in Auvergne, the Jean Perrin Centre is based in Clermont-Ferrand and is a member of UNICANCER. The Centre has implemented a multidisciplinary strategy of acquiring the necessary equipment for the diagnosis and implementation of various therapies: imaging, pathological biology and autonomy, surgery, radiotherapy, medical treatment, care support, palliative care. In 2013, 24,500 patients were taken in and more than 630 professional are currently employed.

Institut Bergonié
The Bergonié Institute, a UNICANCER member, is a specialised cancer hospital based in Bordeaux. It has three principle aims: care, training and research. The Institute has a sphere of medical competences and advanced medical technology, making it a true hub of cancer care. Patients can be directly referred here but can also pass through during the course of their care in order to access the best medical expertise. More than 600 doctors, caregivers, researchers, technical and administrative staff are employed at the Institute.

Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest (ICO)
Established in January 2011 as the fusion of the Centres of “Lutte Contre le Cancer” Paul Papin of Angers and René Gauducheau of Saint-Herblain, the aims of the West Institute of Cancer are: care, research and training. Affiliated to the UNICANCER group, the ICO assembles 1230 professionals, including 164 doctors, researchers, pharmacists and biologists. The strength of the ICO lies in its multidisciplinary approach, to ensure the complete care of patients.

Sequencing & Analysis

France: Fondation Synergie Lyon Cancer
Spain: Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico

Synergie Lyon Cancer is a Foundation for Scientific Cooperation created following the selection, by the Ministry of Research in 2007, of their proposal during a call for proposals in the subject area of “Thematic Networks of Research and Healthcare” (RTRS). Its strategy is based on multidisciplinary collaborations and uniting of mutual resources within highly reputed research centres. The Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation relies on a network of researchers and clinicians, in bioinformatics and researchers in biology, focusing on:
• understanding the mechanisms that lead to the survival of cancer cells and to the occurrence of metastasis (the spreading of tumours);
• restoring the immune system in order to re-establish the body’s natural defence mechanisms, increasing its ability to respond to tumours;
• targeted therapies leading to treatments that are tailored for individual needs.

The Platform of Bioinformatics (launched by Synergie Lyon Cancer, with the support of the INCa and in close association with the CLB and the CRCL) was created in 2009 under the leadership of G. Thomas. Its aim is to analyse high-throughput data generated in the cancer research field. Its specific expertise is to develop pipelines to analyse next-generation sequencing data (whole genome sequencing, exome sequencing, RNAseq and targeted sequencing). It is deeply involved in ICGC projects (breast and prostate carcinomas, uterine carcinosarcoma), in translational research projects (such as the LYRIC integrated research project), and collaborates with physicians, clinician-researchers and basic scientists from CLB-CRCL for their own projects. The platform hosts 10 staff members including three bioinformaticians, three biostatisticians, two database managers, one biologist and one administrative assistant.

The CNAG is a non-profit organisation funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Catalan Government through the Economy and Knowledge Department and the Health Department. Competitive grants and contractual research with the private sector provide additional funds.
The CNAG was created in 2009 as a platform integrated into the Barcelona Science Park with the mission to carry out large scale projects in DNA sequencing and analysis in collaboration with researchers from Catalonia, Spain and from the international research community in order to ensure the competiveness of Spain in the strategic area of genomics. Operations commenced in March 2010 with 12 last-generation sequencing systems, which has enabled the centre to build a sequencing capacity of over 800 Gbases/day, the equivalent of completely sequencing six human genomes every 24 hours. This capacity positions the CNAG as the second largest European centre in terms of sequencing capacity.

Complementary Studies

France: Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon (CRCL)
UMR Inserm 1052 CNRS 5286 - Centre Léon Bérard
Centre Léon-Bérard

CRCL Research team “EMT and Cancer cell plasticity” (Head Alain Puisieux):
UMR Inserm 1052 CNRS 5286 Centre Léon Bérard

The Cancer Research Centre of Lyon (CRCL, UMR Inserm 1052 CNRS 5286 - Centre Léon Bérard, Director Pr Alain Puisieux) was created in January 2011 with the objectives to create a centre of excellence in tumour biology in Lyon and participate in education and training in oncology. An important asset of the CRCL relies on the strong links established with clinical departments from the anticancer Léon Bérard Centre (CLB) and the Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL), fostering the transfer from basic research to medical applications. Currently, the CRCL is composed of 20 teams, organised into three scientific Departments, with a total of 400 people, including 118 permanent researchers. The CRCL teams benefit from direct access to state-of-the-art technical equipment (cell sorting and cytometry platform, imaging facilities, L3 laboratory, animal housing, tumour model laboratory, and associated technological platforms on the Lyon-Est site), biological resources centres of the CLB and of the HCL, and shared CRCL services (including an administrative and financial unit) to support their projects.
The aim of the CRCL team headed by Alain Puisieux consists of understanding how the aberrant activation of an embryonic transdifferentiation program, namely the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, frequently observed in human cancers, facilitates the tumour development. By studying the oncogenic properties of key embryonic regulators and the cellular properties provided by EMT, A. Puisieux’s team has demonstrated that EMT inducers and the associated transdifferentiation process affords cells an increased plasticity, promotes the escape from failsafe programs and fosters malignant transformation. Deciphering the underlying mechanisms and developing strategies aimed at functionally neutralising these embryonic functions constitute the two main research axes of the team.

EMS (Head Isabelle Ray-Coquart):
Medical evaluation and sarcoma research team (Evaluation Médicale et Sarcomes)
Clinical Sciences Department - Centre Léon Bérard (Lyon),
Linked to EAM 4128 Santé Individu Société (Universités Lyon 1, Lyon 2 and Lyon 3)

Scientific projects revolve around two main research points:
• Medical practice evaluations and their impact on patient survival (rare tumours such as sarcomas and ovarian cancers, frequent tumours such as prostate, breast, ENT, lung cancer). The aim is to describe complete patient management from initial diagnosis to follow-up and to analyse the medical decisions taken.
• Research focusing on sarcomas and gynaecological cancers (epidemiological, genetic, biomedical and social sciences studies). The aims are to study their distribution and their correlation with different factors and to participate in the development of the shared national database gathering clinical and biologic data.

Directors of the EMS research team (Dr Isabelle Ray-Coquard and Pr Jean-Yves Blay) coordinate respectively the Rare Malignant Gynaecologic Tumours Network (http://www.ovaire-rare.org/TMRG/public/accueil_public.aspx) and the Sarcoma Clinical Reference Network: NETSARC (https://netsarc.sarcomabcb.org/home.htm), two national expert networks which gather clinicians and researchers for the improvement of patient management and research on these rare tumours.

The EMS team works at the interface between several teams involved in sarcomas and gynaecological cancer research and management: clinical teams from the French expert centres, basic research teams, Cancer Regional Network, French Sarcoma Group, French registries and European partners.

The EMS team participates in two ICGC programs: ICGC carcinosarcoma (Pr Alain Puisieux, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon) and ICGC leiomyosarcoma (Dr Frédéric Chibon, Institut Bergonié, Bordeaux).

Data Storage, Analysis & Management

France: Fondation Synergie Lyon Cancer
Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon (CRCL)

The Platform of Bioinformatics (Synergie Lyon Cancer/INCa/CLB/CRCL) was created in 2009 under the leadership of G. Thomas. Its aim is to analyse high-throughput data generated in the cancer research field. Its specific expertise is to develop pipelines to analyse next-generation sequencing data (whole genome sequencing, exome sequencing, RNAseq and targeted sequencing). It is deeply involved in ICGC projects (breast and prostate carcinomas, uterine carcinosarcoma), in translational research projects (such as the LYRIC integrated research project), and collaborates with physicians, clinician-researchers and basic scientists from CLB-CRCL for their own projects. The platform hosts 10 staff members including three bioinformaticians, three biostatisticians, two database managers, one biologist and one administrative assistant.

CRCL Research team “EMT and Cancer cell plasticity” (Head Alain Puisieux):
UMR Inserm 1052 CNRS 5286 Centre Léon Bérard
See description under "Complementary Studies" above.

Project Summary

Carcinosarcomas are histologically defined as bi-phasic neoplastic tumours containing two populations of cancerous cells: one epithelial and the other sarcomatoid. They are rare tumours with poor prognosis which occur most often in the uterus (endometrial carcinosarcomas), but can also affect the ovaries, Fallopian tubes and the vagina. By combining descriptive and functional analyses, the proposed research programme aims to unravel the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing the development and progression of gynaecological carcinosarcomas and to improve their therapeutic management in an integrative manner.

Overall, the programme is composed of two intrinsically linked approaches: (i) a fundamental research aspect aiming to characterise the role of EMT in the development and evolution of gynaecological carcinosarcomas (this approach will be studied within the team “EMT and cancer cell plasticity” of the Cancer Research Centre of Lyon using personal funding), and (ii) the exhaustive genomic analyses of 20 gynaecological carcinosarcomas with the support of INCa funding (a pilot study based on four samples is currently being carried out, with the implementation of 16 additional samples by the end 2015).

More precisely, the programme is divided into different cognitive and applied objectives:

• The cognitive objectives (functional analyses and molecular characterisation) involve the identification of molecular factors determining the development of carcinosarcomas and their metastatic evolution, the characterisation of the mechanisms driving the bi-phenotypical differentiation of carcinosarcomas, the evaluation of the roles of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) over the course of development and tumoural progression, the identification of the cellular subset containing the cancer stem cells of carcinosarcomas and the molecular characterisation of cancer stem cells in carcinosarcomas.

• The diagnostic and therapeutic objectives (molecular characterisation) will focus on the improvement of the molecular classification of gynaecological carcinosarcomas, the identification of new prognostic and predictive factors and the identification of new therapeutic targets.

Principal Investigators

Professor Alain Puisieux
Director of the CRCL (Cancer research centre of Lyon), UMR Inserm 1052 CNRS 5286 Centre Léon Bérard
Cheney D second floor
28 rue Laennec
69373 Lyon Cedex 08
France
alain.puisieux@lyon.unicancer.fr

Lead Jurisdiction