Carcinogenèse associée aux HPV : facteurs prédictifs et pronostiques - COMUE Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté

Carcinogenèse associée aux HPV : facteurs prédictifs et pronostiques

Our research program focuses on human papillomavirus (HPV) associated carcinogenesis and is in line with the first objective of the “Plan Cancer III”, which is to “Promote early diagnosis” of cancers and in particular “reduce inequalities toward cervical cancer “.
Our research work relies on three priority themes that aim to:
(i) Improve understanding of the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis associated with HPV. This remains an ongoing challenge and raises many hopes for developing new therapeutic or prevention approaches. We focus our work on the regulation of the expression and functions of HPV16 E6 and E7 transcripts and isoforms, in particular, the involvement of the PPAR nuclear receptor signaling pathway and its impact on epithelio-mesenchymal transition, a key event favoring metastatic invasion. (ii) Better describe the natural history of HPV infections in the cervix, anus and upper aero-digestive tract. Indeed, while it is accepted that the persistence of HPV infection is the major risk factor for the development of cancer, many questions about the determinants of this persistence remain open, including: Can it be predicted by biomarkers? What is the role of the immune system? Moreover, the personalized follow-up of patients treated for an HPV-associated (pre-) cancerous lesion is an important issue to identify as early as possible any residual lesion or any risk of recurrence to adapt patient’s management.
(iii) Evaluate the primary (vaccination) and secondary (screening) prevention actions that should reduce cancer of the cervix, but also at other localizations by limiting the circulation of papillomavirus. In this context, it is important to implement tools to measure the impact of these actions of health at the population level, in particular on the morbidity-mortality of cervical, anal and head and neck cancers and on viral ecology. It is also essential to test new approaches to prevent / treat (pre)cancers associated with HPV
We carry out a translational research: the data resulting from biological research have for objectives a clinical validation and the transfer of tools of investigation to the benefit of patients (bench to bed). Conversely, results from clinical research are intended to ask new biological questions, for example to define therapeutic targets or understand the cellular / molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis (bed to bench). This type of research is facilitated by the geographical proximity of our research laboratory to the University Hospital Center of Besançon, where biologists, clinicians and actors of the HPV theme of the CIC1431 biotherapy axis conduct their activities. Our laboratory is also associated to the Papillomavirus National Reference Center (www.cnr-hpv.fr), which provides microbiological expertise, advices, HPV surveillance and alert missions to institutions
The work carried out in our laboratory ranges from fundamental research in cellular and molecular biology to epidemiological studies, with participation in the tumors registry of the Doubs and the Territoire de Belfort, the association for cervical cancer screening EVE and Cancéropôle Est.