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DEVweCAN becomes DEV2CAN (2020-2025) : further inside the tumor complexity

The starting point of the initial LabEX DEVweCAN project 8 years ago and now of this project renewal DEV2CAN are that we need to have a better understanding of the complexity of a tumor in order to design more efficacious therapies. The working hypothesis of the initial LabEX DEVweCAN project and now of DEV2CAN, taking advantage of the scientific strength of Lyon in this domain, is that a tumor is a complex ecosystem where crucial processes during embryonic development, but silenced during adulthood, are reactivated during tumor progression and are causally implicated in tumor progression. The associated hypothesis is that targeting these “reactivated embryonic pathways” can be relatively safe for patients as these pathways are off in adults, and may provide long term anti-tumor effect as they integrate the tumor as a complex developing organism.
The DEV2CAN project is integrated in a larger context of cancer research in Lyon-EST devoted to the development of new targeted therapies against cancer. The LabEX DEVweCAN, which was evaluated at mid-term as one the best LabEX in France, is the stepping-stone towards a wider structure dedicated to bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench research. DEV2CAN is a focused scientific project based on current and future forces of basic but also clinical cancer research in Lyon-EST. Thanks to close collaborations and to the shared interests of its members, as well as to its high education program and increasing attractiveness, DEV2CAN has the continuing ambition to provide validated and original targets causally implicated in cancer progression and novel drugs assessed in clinical trials. The “proof-of-concept” that this relatively naive model may work is the ongoing phase I clinical trial in Lyon based on the research made on a developmental cue shown to be causally implicated in cancer progression by the LabEX teams. This large research effort will be associated with a strong and motivated educational oncology program. The LabEX DEVweCAN has already massively invested in training by initiating in 2013 a full Master in Oncology, the only integrated and fully dedicated master in oncology in France. The DEV2CAN will strengthen this effort with the creation of an institute of doctoral training in Oncology.


Aims of DEVweCAN