Programme 7 : Immunology

Programme 7 : Immunology

STRENGTHS IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS

Cancer Care

  • Immunotherapy is perfectly integrated to clinical care in all ad-hoc disciplines (thoracic oncology, dermatology, urology, medical oncology, hematology, pediatrics) including the most recent strategies such as CAR-T cells (more detailed in a special program), combination immunotherapies, and bi-specific antibodies.
  • State-of-the art clinical care by expert physicians and surgeons.
  • Dedicated onco-dermatology and thoracic oncology departments, strong CAR-T cell task force.
  • Large number of patients treated with immunotherapy, especially in thoracic oncology, dermatology, and hematology (pediatric and adult), hence a vast experience on a diversity of clinical presentations and disease entities.
  • Interdisciplinary management of toxicities through a University Hospital transversal group.

Research

1. Clinical Research
  • Very strong implication in clinical trials involving immunotherapies at all stages of clinical development (phases 1 to 4).
  • Early phase trials require a specific environment in terms of trial management and safety: 7 ongoing or recent phase 1 or 2 trials in thoracic oncology (4 academic), 2 in urology, 8 in pediatrics (2 academic), >20 in dermatology.
  • Phase 3 trials are critical to drug clinical approval: 9 ongoing or recent phase 3 in thoracic oncology (3 academic), 4 in urology, 3 in pediatrics (2 academic), 8 in dermatology.
  • Université Paris Cité physicians are frequently global coordinators or nationals PIs of the trials.
  • Clinical research programs are funded by competitive national grants (PHRC, INCa) as well as industrial partnerships.
2. Translational/basic Research
  • Large number of translational research studies connected to clinical samples and clinical trials.
  • Majority of collaborative role for thoracic oncology, urology, hematology, and paediatrics.
  • Lead investigator role for dermatology and pathology: studies with potential clinical impact
  • Remarkable implication of dermatology, hematology and thorax oncology in translational research studies based on large patient cohorts (PREDIMEL, PREDICARTe), asking questions with therapeutic, prognostic, or predictive impact, and looking for new mechanisms of action for innovative drugs.
  • Strong local support for immune monitoring in various immunotherapy contexts (lead investigator for CAR-T cells).
  • These studies could benefit from large-scale and high throughput technologies, as well as multiplex imaging systems.
  • Basic research in immuno-oncology could be strengthened.
3. Research/clinics integration
  • Strong connection between research and clinics in hematology, thoracic oncology and dermatology.
  • Important role of clinical and sample cohorts, such as MELBASE (Melanoma), Immunotarget (lung cancer), which enable a large number of collaborative and lead investigator studies connected to patient samples and data.
  • Good level of national and international collaborations.
4. Transversal working groups/staff meetings
  • All departments have very well integrated interdisciplinary working groups and meetings in order to optimize patient care and treatment decision.
  • Thoracic oncology, pediatrics, and dermatology have set up molecular tumor boards.
5. Technological platforms
  • Good usage of platforms for molecular biomarkers (TMB, PD-L1).
  • Good support from pathology, genetics, and immunology laboratories.
  • Lack of cutting edge technologies.
6. Biobanking and databases
  • Dermatology has set up leading prospective cohorts with a structured biobanking and data management.
  • Thoracic oncology has a lung cancer biobank with a lung cancer on chip technology aimed to assess autologous cancer micro-environments and the effect of immuno-oncology drugs on such ex-vivo platforms.
  • Hemato-oncology has set up prospective biobanking and data management for patients receiving CAR-T cells (BIOCART)
  • It would be important to mutualize resources and expertise to provide broader support for biobanking and clinical/biological databases.

Education

Training:
  • Good implication in local, regional and national training programs in immunotherapy and immune monitoring.
  • Lack of implication in international trainings (except for CAR-T cells).
  • It could be interesting to organize one international course on immunotherapy with high visibility.

PROGRAM LEADERS

Pr Sophie CAILLAT-ZUCMAN is Professor of Immunology at University of Paris, head of the Immunology Laboratory at Saint-Louis Hospital, and director of the team “Immune responses in the immunocompromised host” at INSERM U976. This gives her a key role in projects at the interface between basic and clinical research in patients receiving immune therapies (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, CAR-T cells). She is coordinator of multipartner projects on the development of universal CAR-T cells and on identification of predictive markers of CAR-T cell efficacy (PREDICARTe).

Pr Vassili SOUMELIS