Cancer Research Pole

The Cancer Research Pole gathers scientific and clinical researchers engaged in different aspects of cancer research, from fundamental research to clinical studies. Cell and organelle biology, radiobiology, molecular cancer biology, gene expression, virus-induced cancers and medicinal chemistry are among the key competences found at the UNamur in the field of cancer research. Innovative and ambitious projects are developed thanks to the participation of clinicians involved in oncology and anti-cancer treatment at the CHU UCL Namur.

Mission

One of the major challenges in cancer research is to better understand and overcome cancer resistance to conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but also to targeted therapies. The Cancer Research Pole therefore supports research on the mechanisms underlying cancer cell resistance, the identification of new targets, and the development of new drugs or alternative strategies to treat resistant cancers. Understanding the mechanisms behind cancer development and metastasis is another goal of the NARILIS cancer research pole.

Research topics

Unravelling the mechanisms of resistance of cancer cells to anti-cancer treatment

  • Identification of tumor proteins responsible for cancer resistance: role of TMEM45A
  • Understanding the role of the immune system in cancer resistance: role of macrophages
  • Molecular and functional characterization of the ABCB5 transporter: a potential new tumor suppressor in melanoma
  • Development of a murine model of hepatocellular carcinoma

Development of new treatment strategies against cancers

  • Combining nanotechnology and protontherapy for a more efficient treatment of cancer
  • Optimization of radiation therapy of head and neck cancers
  • Development of new anti-cancer drugs: harmine derivatives, IDO inhibitors, inhibitors of the serine metabolic pathway and inhibitors of DNA methyltransferase for epigenetic cancer therapy
  • Identification of strategies to re-sensitize tumor cells resistant to chemotherapy
  • Combining drugs targeting DNA repair response to induce synthetic lethality
  • Understanding the role of FAK as a new target in small cell lung cancer
  • Clinical studies for immunotherapy in several types of cancer

Understanding the mechanisms behind cancer development and metastasis

  • Investigation of the role of hypoxia and inflammation as tumor growth drivers
  • Understanding the role of miRs in virus-induced cancers
  • Identification of mitochondrial proteins responsible for cancer cell proliferation: role of MPV17
  • Contributing role of extracellular vesicles on vascular endothelium haemostatic balance as well as in the procoagulation state in various types of cancer

Publications

Cancer publications

Radiobiology publications

Multidisciplinary experts

Molecular cancer biology

GILLET Jean-Pierre, PhD, UNamur, Molecular Physiology Research Unit (URPhyM), Laboratory of Molecular Cancer Biology (LBMC)

HERMAND Damien, PhD, UNamur, Molecular Physiology Research Unit (URPhyM), Molecular Genetics (GeMo)

MUYLKENS Benoît, DVM, PhD, Integrated Veterinary Research Unit (URVI)

Cell biology

MICHIELS Carine, PhD, UNamur, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology (URBC), Tumor Hypoxia (TumHyp) group

RENARD Patsy, PhD, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology (URBC), Organelle dysfunction (DYSO) group

Radiobiology and nanotechnology

HEUSKIN Anne-Catherine, PhD, UNamur, Physics of Matter and Radiation (PMR), Laboratory of Analysis by Nuclear Reaction (LARN)

LUCAS Stéphane, PhD, UNamur, Physics of Matter and Radiation (PMR), Laboratory of Analysis by Nuclear Reaction (LARN)

Medicinal chemistry & pharmacology

DOGNE Jean-Michel, PharmD, PhD, Department of Pharmacy

MASEREEL Bernard, PharmD, PhD, UNamur, Department of Pharmacy

WOUTERS Johan, PhD, UNamur, Laboratory of Structural Biological Chemistry (CBS)

Cancer imaging

VANDER BORGHT Thierry, MD, PhD, CHU UCL Namur, Godinne, Department of Nuclear Medicine

Medical oncology & hematology

D'HONDT Lionel, MD, PhD, CHU UCL Namur, Godinne, Department of Oncology

GRAUX Carlos, MD, PhD, CHU UCL Namur, Godinne, Department of Hematology

MULLIER François, PharmD, PhD, Hematology Laboratory

OCAK Sebahat, MD, PhD, CHU UCL Namur, Godinne, Department of Pulmonology

Radiotherapy

DAISNE Jean-François, MD, PhD, CHU UCL Namur, Sainte-Elisabeth, Department of Radiotherapy

REMOUCHAMPS Vincent, MD, PhD, CHU UCL Namur, Sainte-Elisabeth, Department of Radiotherapy