10 P. Cordelier: Epigenetics & translational research in pancreatic diseases
Team Research Project
Team 10: (P. Cordelier): to define the role of epigenetics in pancreatic cancer and to devise new innovative strategies for cancer treatment
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains the fourth leading cause of cancer death and is one the most lethal of commonly diagnosed cancers. Our research effort is dedicated to better understand the early stages of carcinogenesis and to implement innovative therapeutic research for patients’ treatment, such as gene therapy. In greater details, we are currently exploring whether epigenetic profiles may help for patients (early) diagnosis, characterizing new key drivers involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis and/or resistance to standard-of-care and further encourage innovative therapeutic research programs for treatment of patients in clinical trials ‘early and phase II). This work is supported by unique experimental animal models and patient cohorts.
- Pancreatic cancer: tumor of the pancreas. If adenocarcinoma, tumor of the exocrine (acinar and duct cells) of the pancreas. Can also be endocrine (originating from the Langerhans islets).
- Gene therapy: using genes to treat disease. Needs a vector, to enter the cell, that can be non-viral or viral, and a therapeutic gene (either for replacement of an anticongene or to target an oncogene, when applied to cancer therapy).
- Clinical trials: experimentation in patients of cutting-edge and/or breaktrough treatments
- Patient cohorts: collection of tissues, blood... sampled from patients for target validation or discovery.
- Animal models: tumors developed in animals (most of the time mice) to mimic the human disease.
- Biomarkers: small molecules (proteins, RNA, DNA, miRNA) that can be easily sampled from patients for diagnosis or prognosis to help manage their disease.
- Epigenetics: non-genetic regulation of gene expression (above genetic)
- Ubiquitin ligase: protein involved in the ubiquitination of proteins, a mechanism known to induce proteolysis and, as a consequence, to control gene expression.
- Carcinogenesis : different phases (early and late) of tumor progression
- MicroRNAs : small non-coding RNAs tightly controlling gene expression, that can serve as biomarkers or therapeutic targets (see above).