Pancreatic cancer is a disease with a poor prognosis that progresses very rapidly after detection to metastatic spread. At detection, the primary tumour may be associated with a so-called micro-metastatic disease which, because it is microscopic, goes unnoticed with our current imaging techniques. Our team at the CRCT was able to demonstrate that the activation of a signalling pathway was necessary in the transition from the micro-metastatic state to their development into macro-metastases, which are visible metastases. This is the PI3K pathway, which is altered in more than half of all solid cancers. Our results also demonstrate the effectiveness of PI3K inhibitors on this evolution. A patent has been filed in this respect, associated with an article in the journal EMBO Mol Med.

Discover published article :

EMBO Mol Med. 2021 May 25;e13502.doi: 10.15252/emmm.202013502. Online ahead of print.
Pancreatic cancer intrinsic PI3Kα activity accelerates metastasis and rewires macrophage component
Benoit Thibault, Fernanda Ramos-Delgado, Elvire Pons-Tostivint, Nicole Therville, Celia Cintas, Silvia Arcucci, Stephanie Cassant-Sourdy, Gabriela Reyes-Castellanos, Marie Tosolini, Amelie V Villard, Coralie Cayron, Romain Baer, Justine Bertrand-Michel, Delphine Pagan, Dina Ferreira Da Mota, Hongkai Yan, Chiara Falcomatà, Fabrice Muscari, Barbara Bournet, Jean-Pierre Delord, Ezra Aksoy, Alice Carrier, Pierre Cordelier, Dieter Saur, Celine Basset, Julie Guillermet-Guibert

Key words :

  • PI3K isoforms,
  • pancreatic cancer,
  • phosphoinositide
  • targeted therapy
  • tumour-stroma dialog

Collaborations and acknowledgements

JGG’s laboratory for this topic was/is funded by Europe EU-ERG FP7 (270696 PaCa/PI3K), ARC (PJA20171206596; salary for RB), Toucan ANR Laboratory of Excellence, MSCA-ITN/ETN PhD-PI3K (Project ID: 675392, salary for FRD and SA), Fondation de France (salary for BT), GSO, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer (salary for CC and CC), Fondation Toulouse Cancer Santé (revision experiments).

Contact :

Julie Guillermet-Guibert, Benoit Thibault, PhD(s)
CRCT Team : SigDYN : Integrated cell signalling and class I-II-III isoforms of PI3K
Mail :,


Macro métastase de cancer du pancréas dans le poumon

Macro métastase de cancer du pancréas dans le foie

L’évolution de micro-métastase du foie ou du poumon (en haut) vers des macro-métastases (bas) est très rapide chez les patients diagnostiqués de cancer du pancréas.

Vidéo (in french only)

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