Program 11 : Hematological Cancers

Program 11 : Hematological Cancers


Pr Pierre FENAUX, trained at University Hospital of Lille, France, where he became Professor of Hematology in 1993. He became the head of the Hematology department of Avicenne Hospital, at Assistance Publique-Hôptaux de Paris network (AP-HP) and Professor of Hematology at University Paris 13 in 2002. He then moved in 2013 to Saint-Louis Hospital and Université Paris Cité to open a new department dedicated to myeloid malignancies in elderly patients. His basic research topic deals with myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia at INSERM 1131 lab, in Saint-Louis Research Institute. He is a founding member and chairman of the French myelodysplastic syndromes group and of the French promyelocytic leukemia group. In addition to coordinate multiple clinical trials in these fields, Pierre Fenaux focuses currently his research on drug mechanism of action in myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia, with the development of murine models allowing studies on resistance to treatments in these diseases.

Pr. Catherine THIEBLEMONT, is Professor of Haematology in the Université Paris Cité, France and Head of the Hemato-Oncology Department in the Hospital Saint-Louis – Paris, France. She trained as a Hemato-oncologist in Lyon (1990-1995) then worked for 2 years in the Department of Hemato-Pathology at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA. She became a fellow in the Department of Hematology of Centre Hospitalier Lyon-Sud in 1998 and became Assistant Professor in the same department in 2003. She moved in Paris in 2007 and became Head of the Hemato-Oncology Department in 2009. She is specialized in the diagnostic and treatment of chronic lymphoproliferative syndromes, including Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. She authored or co-authored more than 300 articles in that field..She is a member of the Scientific Committee for the Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA), and coordinates the marginal zone lymphoma subcommittee. She is on the Board of Directors of the International Extranodal Lymphoma study group (IELSG). Catherine Thieblemont also actively collaborates with the NF-KappaB, Differentiation and Cancer group (EA7324) at the Université Paris Cité thus emphasizing the translational aspect of their research.



Nicolas GOULIN

P11 Hematological Cancers chiffres


Cancer Care

A common medical project gathers all the hematology and immunology departments of Saint-Louis Hospital, which is the largest academic center of hematology in France. All the fields of hematology are represented, with dedicated departments (n=9), including geriatric hematology (Pr. Fenaux), young adult hematology (Pr. Boissel), acute leukemias (Pr. Raffoux), lymphomas (hemato-oncology department, Pr. C. Thieblemont), bone marrow transplantation (Pr. Preffault de Latour), myeloma (Pr. Arnulf), immunopathology/lymphomas in immunocompromised patients (Pr. Oksenhendler, Pr. Fieschi), and early phase hemato-oncology clinical trials (Pr. Kiladjian). Many of these departments also have a strong cell therapy (CAR-T cells) activity in their respective fields, with a dedicated CAR-T cell production unit located in Saint-Louis Hospital (“MEARY center”, Pr. Larghero). Rare hematological diseases, such as syndromes predisposing to hematological cancers, are also the subject of interest of several teams, with dedicated on-site genetic and molecular biology facilities. More than 2,000 patients are treated each year by these teams, which are well-identified international leaders in their respective fields, covering the whole spectrum of hematological malignancies. The clinical activity of the immuno-hematology departments represents 20 to 30% of the whole activity of the Great Paris University Hospitals (AP-HP) in that field. More specifically, 30% of allogenic bone marrow transplantations or stem cell autografts are performed in the Saint-Louis Hospital and the CAR-T cell activity represents over 50% of the whole AP-HP activity. In 2020, the activity was distributed as follows: 122 allografts, 120 autografts, and 89 CAR-T cell therapies.


As the successors of the Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of the major histocompatibility complex system, Pr. J. Dausset, the medical practitioners (33 senior doctors) from the hematology axis are affiliated to three research INSERM units (UMRS1131, U944, U976) and one university research unit from the pharmacy university (EA7324). They produce high level basic and translational research published in top-level (rank A) journals including Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Nature Medicine, Nature, Science, JAMA Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Haematology, etc. They belong to the Saint-Louis Cancer Institute dedicated to basic research in the field of hematology and solid oncology. Nearly 1,000 scientific and medical articles in that field are published yearly by these teams, including more than 200 in rank A and A+ international peer-reviewed journals (from Blood to Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Science, and Nature). More than 200 research protocols are ongoing and recruiting with coordinators at the national or international level among the Saint-Louis hematology teams, representing 45% of all accruing clinical research trials in Saint-Louis Hospital. Such clinical research includes both industry trials of innovative drugs and national or international academic trials, with several national cooperative groups being directed or codirected by medical doctors from Saint-Louis Hospital (ALFA, FIM, GFM, SFGM-TC, and GRALL groups, as well as the internationally renowned LYSA group that was initially created there).

Basic research teams (five INSERM laboratories each including 3 to 10 teams and one university laboratory with 3 teams) form within the Saint-Louis hospital the Hemato-oncology Research Institute (IRSL) created 65 years ago by Pr. J. Bernard and Pr. J. Dausset (1980 Nobel Prize winner).


For more than 30 years, the doctoral school of Hematology, Oncogenesis and Biotherapies (HOB– ED 561), currently directed by Pr. Itzykson (, has supported experimental and clinical works aiming to decipher specific oncogenesis mechanisms in different types of solid tumors or hematological malignancies. The development of innovative diagnostic tools or new personalized treatments are at the heart of thesis projects using genomic, biochemical, cell biology, or animal model approaches to study cancer cells and their microenvironment. Interface theses including bioinformatics and engineering are also part of this doctoral school, while theses dealing with clinical research and biomarker development are encouraged. Nearly 80 PhD students are mentored each year in this doctoral school, one of the rare in France exclusively dedicated to cancer with more than 50 basic science laboratories participating to this training. The eight full professors in hematology participate to learning courses of the medical faculty Paris Cité in 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles of medical studies and to multiple post-graduation learning courses of the University of Paris, American Society of Hematology (ASH), and European School of Haematology (ESH) The Federation of Hematology Departments of Saint-Louis Hospital (DMU), headed by Pr. Fenaux, is coordinating the Eurobloodnet European network supporting guidelines, webinars of educational section for health professionals, and e-learning modules (