Sarcomas

Valérie Devillaine
04/06/2017
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Institut Curie is one of the five leading facilities worldwide in soft-tissue sarcoma management. As a reference center, it has a duty to develop translational research in order to improve knowledge and care concerning this relatively rare disease.
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Soft tissue sarcomas develop in the support tissues that link the various structures of the body or make up the walls of organs. This cancer can therefore occur in many different parts of the body. The standard treatment at the initial stage is surgery, which is sometimes very invasive. Surgery may be preceded or followed by radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.

In terms of clinical research, Institut Curie is taking part in the development of certain families of nanoparticles, in particular hafnium nanoparticles (NBTXR3) developed by Nanobiotix. Once they are injected into the tumor, these molecules can multiply the effect of the radiation without reaching the neighboring tissues.

Phase I/II clinical trials have allowed us to assess the tolerance of the injection of hafnium nanoparticles (NBTXR3) into the tumor before radiotherapy. This first clinical trial phase is now complete and will be followed by an assessment of the effectiveness of these nanoparticles.

Going even further, brainstorming on translational research is underway at Institut Curie and efforts will continue under the guidance of the researcher Josh Waterfall, who will create a dedicated SiRIC team.

Since sarcomas are a rare type of cancer, research on the disease is often difficult and not well developed. With the arrival of this team offering skills in both biology and bioinformatics, it will be possible to analyze more tumor samples, include more patients in clinical trials and work together more effectively. The aims of this research will be:

  • To improve understanding of the biological mechanisms related to the malignant transformation of the supporting cells and the development of these complex tumors.
  • To provide classification of sarcomas by characterizing their genetic profile.

This research will help improve diagnosis and pave the way for new, more suitable treatments.