As part of the ambitious MC21 project, Institut Curie inaugurated in 2018 the first cancer immunotherapy center in France. True to the model imagined by Marie Curie in 1909, Institut Curie brings together researchers, doctors, patients and caregivers in one place. The goal? To strengthen interactions between research and care, foster medical innovation and thus accelerate the availability of new treatments for patients.
Established at the heart of Institut Curie's Paris site, it brings together fundamental and translational research laboratories, consultation rooms and hospital beds on the same floor, creating a unique space for exchanges between researchers, doctors, patients and caregivers.
More specifically, the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy aims to:
- Implement early trials and study combinations of treatments that could improve therapeutic effectiveness.
- Discover new predictive biomarkers.
- Understand why immunotherapy results for breast cancer remain modest, whereas they are more compelling for tumors in other locations.
In a logic of scientific and medical innovation, this grouping of key actors favors interactions, knowledge transfer, and thus will accelerate the transformation of fundamental discoveries into clinical applications. In a reciprocal way, the sharing of experience between physicians and researchers allows for the emergence of more relevant medical or scientific questions that they can solve together.
Immunotherapy, a revolution in cancer treatment
A major advance in cancer research, immunotherapy aims to stimulate the patient's immune defenses against his or her disease. Unlike targeted therapies and conventional chemotherapy, which directly attack tumor cells, this treatment teaches the immune system to recognize and destroy them, as it does bacteria and viruses.
Immunotherapy is a real revolution in the treatment of cancer and has been one of Institut Curie's flagship research areas for several decades. Researchers and physicians are exploring numerous avenues to better understand how cancer cells escape the body's defenses and how to trigger an effective immune response against different types of cancer.
Immunotherapy is undoubtedly a new therapeutic weapon against cancer. It is therefore crucial to deepen our knowledge in this field in order to develop new drugs, to know how to use them better and to combine them with other treatments for the benefit of patients.
explains Sebastian Amigorena, immunologist and head of Institut Curie's Immunotherapy Center.
At Institut Curie, no less than 16 immunotherapy clinical trials are currently underway.