• Sunday, 24 January 2021 - 11:04:31

Cancer biology and therapeutics

Annette K. Larsen
& Michèle Sabbah
Team Leader : Annette K. LARSEN   &   Michèle Sabbah
Administrative contact : Sandrine Gromat

Hopital Saint-Antoine - Bâtiment Kourilsky - 1er et 8ème étages - 184, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012 Paris, France

Professors, Lecturers, Researchers, Clinicians
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Postdocs, Contract Researchers, Emeritus, Volunteer
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Research cancer biology and therapeutics

The general aim of our team is to provide a continuum between fundamental, preclinical, translational and clinical research, in part by promoting increased interaction between the fundamental and the clinical staff. To facilitate the clinical application of our findings, we are maintaining close collaboration with clinicians at the Saint-Antoine, Tenon and Pitié hospitals as well as with Institut Franco-Britannique and are actively participating in industry-sponsored projects.

Our overall objective is to advance the molecular and functional understanding of tumor biology and therapeutics thereby favoring improved treatment of cancer patients.

Our research is focused along the following axis:

  1. Tumor cell plasticity with emphasis on the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and “stemness”. Interplay between invasiveness, chemo-resistance and recruitment of immune cells. Role of CCN proteins.
  2. The vascular tumor environment. Interplay between cancer and thrombosis. Vascular/vasculogenic mimicry and circulating tumor cells.
  3. Development of new drug and drug combinations. Activity toward drug-resistant and/or invasive tumors. Development of prognostic/predictive biomarkers: “getting the right drug into the right patient”.

Our translational projects concern the development of novel anticancer agents and combinations and their associated biomarkers based on a mechanistic understanding. This includes both DNA-targeted agents and agents targeting oncogenic signaling pathways. In particular, we wish to identify survival signaling pathways activated in response to therapeutic stress.

Our fundamental research aims to advance the mechanistic understanding of tumor invasion and metastasis focusing on the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), angiogenesis and vascular mimicry. We also explore the interplay between tumor cell plasticity and the tumor microenvironment with emphasis on adipocytes, mesenchymal stem cells, and thrombotic pathways. We are particularly interested in the CCN/Wisp family, Snail family members and angiogenic signaling pathways.
Another topic concerns the role of the alarmin family, particularly HMGB1, in response to anticancer agents and in the reactivation of the immune system.


The impact and visibility of our findings is underlined by the participation of group members in program committees for international conferences, as coordinators of national and international research networks and by oral presentations on personal invitation including the prestigious “Wogan lecture” of the Massachusetts Institut of Technology (MIT), Stanford Medical School (USA), University of Oxford (UK), CHUV (Switzerland) and A* (Singapore) as an distinguish annual lecture awarded by the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Group members are regularly organizing educational activities in several countries including South America, China and throughout the EU.

Our general goal is to remain competitive at the international level by making significant contributions to the molecular and functional understanding of tumor biology and therapeutics and its clinical translation.
Our findings have been selected for the cover page of leading journals (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, Clinical Cancer Research), have given rise to patents and, in the case of the bevacizumab-erlotinib combination, have resulted in a successful phase III International clinical trial in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.

Research Center
UMR_S 938

Hôpital St-Antoine


Phone : +(33) 1 49 28 46 00