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IRCAN's scientific goals

When the data on epidemiology and pathophysiology are analyzed, aging is usually perceived as a process that results from the combined influence of constitutional or so-called « genetic » factors, life-style associated factors and external events. Gerontobiology looks into all the specific medical and biological features of aging on the scale of the human body and develops concepts such as « harmonious » aging, « vulnerable » and « hypercatabolic » states, illustrating the highly heterogeneous characteristics of the aging process. The extreme heterogeneity of aging can be illustrated for a given age by a residual life-expectancy that varies considerably from one individual to another and by the onset, or not, of degenerative disorders, especially cardiovascular and neurological diseases, bone and joint disorders, diabetes and also neoplasms, pathologies in which constitutional determinants and other external factors play a role as they do in aging. [Read more...]



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October 2017 - Gilles Pagès publishes in the "British Journal of Cancer"

"CXCL7 is a predictive marker of sunitinib efficacy in clear cell renal cell carcinomas" :

"Our study highlighted CXCL7 as a relevant predictive marker of sunitinib efficacy,

the first line treatment of metastatic ccRCC. We also established a threshold value

for patients for low or high risk of relapse in two independent cohorts. These results

must be confirmed on a larger prospective cohort to introduce CXCL7 measurements

into clinical practice to rapidly adapt the treatment at the diagnosis".

October 18th, 2017 - Gianni LITI publishes in "Cell Reports"

with @sangerinstitute on evolution of drug resistance : …

13 Octobre 2017  - Fête de la Science à Nice

Juin 2017
Dr Gilles Pagès was honored by the National Academy of Medicine in Paris  
receiving the Price Albert I  for his research on the "L'angiogenèse tumorale ;
du mécanisme moléculaire à la découverte de nouveaux traitements visant à détruire les vaisseaux sanguins tumoraux".

Juin 2017
Dmitry Bulavin decrypts the biological mechanisms being the cause of tumor recurrence.
Link to the whole article

May 2017

The team of Gaël Cristofari has published in Nature Reviews Genetics :
Sultana T, Zamborlini A, Cristofari G, Lesage P.

Integration site selection by retroviruses and transposable elements in eukaryotes.

Nat Rev Genet. 2017 May;18(5):292-308

Gaël Cristofari is the editor of the book :

April 2017
Gianni LITI, Team leader at the IRCAN, has published an article about the
"Contrasting evolutionary genome dynamics between domesticated and wild yeasts" in Nature Genetics.

March 2017

Décès de Valérie Renault-Nodenot

Après des études aux Etats-Unis, Valérie Renault a rejoint l’IRCAN à sa création en 2011-2012.

Elle était Ingénieur de Recherche dans l’équipe fondatrice du Professeur Eric Gilson et également son Lab-Manager.

Par ailleurs, elle s’est investie dans le Comité d’Entreprise Local de l’INSERM en tant que Trésorière.

Elle a su se faire aimer de toutes et de tous, elle s’est investie sans compter dans la création et la vie de l’IRCAN, c’est elle qui a dessinée notre logo; elle sera pour toujours avec nous.

Valérie était une personne très touchante et sympathique, gentille avec tout le monde, toujours prête à rendre service.

Valérie nous a quitté après une longue et douleureuse maladie, qu’elle avait affrontée avec courage et détermination.

Elle laisse un grand vide et nous avons perdu une amie et une collègue très chère.

Mais par dessus tout, nous pensons à ses enfants et à son mari, et nous les assurons de notre amour pour Valérie et notre solidarité dans l’épreuve qui les frappe.

February 2017

Gilles PAGES

Sunitinib Stimulates Expression of VEGFC by Tumor Cells and Promotes Lymphangiogenesis in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinomas.

Dufies M, Giuliano S, Ambrosetti D, Claren A, Ndiaye PD, Mastri M, Moghrabi W, Cooley LS, Ettaiche M, Chamorey E, Parola J, Vial V, Lupu-Plesu M, Bernhard JC, Ravaud A, Borchiellini D, Ferrero JM, Bikfalvi A, Ebos JM, Khabar KS, Grépin R, Pagès G.

Cancer Res. 2017, Jan 13.

December 2016

The ground for lung tumours :  how does it operate and how to get rid of ? 

Dmitry Bulavin, winner of the call for projects « Leaders of tomorrow in Oncology » in 2012, has published with his team the results of their work about the first steps of lung cancer development.

The future prospects, very concrete, are exciting.

* Brichkina A, Bertero T, Loh HM, Nguyen NT, Emelyanov A, Rigade S, Ilie M, Hofman P, Gaggioli C, Bulavin DV.

p38MAPK builds a hyaluronan cancer niche to drive lung tumorigenesis.

Genes Dev. 2016 Dec 1;30(23):2623-2636.

November 2016

“Powerful decomposition of complex traits in a diploid model” published in Nature Communications on 2nd November 2016 ( by Johan Hallin, Kaspar Martens, Alexander I.Young, Martin Zackrisson, Francisco Salinas, Leopold Parts, Jonas Warringer, Gianni Liti

June 2016

Maeva DUFIES, post-doc in Dr Gilles Pagès' team, received a distinction of 10 000 Euros of the Groupe Pasteur Mutualité for her research project : "Rôle du facteur VEGFC dans les propriétés métastatiques acquises en réponse aux traitements anti-angiogéniques dans le cancer du rein".

May 2016 :

Pr Emmanuel Van Obberghen received the Paul Langerhans award.

This is the most important award granted by the German Diabetes Society.


May 2016 : Pr Eric Gilsons’ team is coordinating the “stress/télomère” study of the next TARA-PACIFIC expedition

The scientific schonner Tara will leave its home port in Lorient,  France, on May 28th, 2016, for a new scientific expedition in the asian and pacific area.

It will cross the pacific ocean over almost 100 000 km during more than 2 years with a interdisciplinary scientific team on its board, coordinated by the CNRS and the Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM). Their aim is to study in an unprecedented way the coral reefs biodiversity and their evolution facing the climat change and the anthropogenic pressures. This adventure is sponsored by the CNRS, PSL, CEA, CSM and many other private and publics sponsors.

Pr Eric Gilson's Team published in Jan. 2016, in Molecular Cell a pertinent study entitled: TRF2-Mediated Control of Telomere DNA Topology as a Mechanism for Chromosome-End Protection.

Authors : Benarroch-Popivker D*, Pisano S*, Mendez-Bermudez A, Lototska L, Kaur P, Bauwens S, Djerbi N, Latrick CM, Fraisier V, Pei B, Gay A, Jaune E, Foucher K, Cherfils-Vicini J, Aeby E, Miron S, Londoño-Vallejo A, Ye J, Le Du MH, Wang H, Gilson E, Giraud-Panis MJ.


The Inserm magazine, “Science et Santé” published a report on this work    (

Dr Sabrina Pisano, at the 7th AFM BioMed conference (Porto, April 2016), and Dr Delphine Benarroch-Popivker, at the Telomere Embo meeting (Belgium, May 2016) were awarded the “best poster presentation” for this work.


Mrs Estelle LECOINTE, President of the INFOSARCOMES patient association, will come to visit the IRCAN on Friday April 29th, 2016. Pr Florence Pedeutour will welcome the President and some patients at 13.30 and after a presentation in Room ED8 will make them visit the laboratory.


The team of Professor Pedeutour, Team leader at the IRCAN and Responsable of the Hospital Laboratory of Genetics of solid tumors, has published in The Lancet Oncology  "Clinical effect of molecular methods in sarcoma diagnosis (GENSARC): a prospective, multicentre, observational study" - March 2016.

Dr Gaël CRISTOFARI 's team has published a new relevant study entitled "Activation of individual L1 retrotransposon instances is restricted to cell-type dependent permissive loci" in eLife, March 2016 :

Dr Gilles PAGÈS, team leader at the IRCAN, is the new President of the French Asssociation for Angiogenesis :   (March 2016)

The regional newspaper "Nice-Matin" published on October 10th,  2015  - "Rares Cancers : patients, researchers, hand in hand".  The team of Professor Florence Pedeutour is starting a promising study on sarcomas, sponsored by the "Info-Sarcomes Association".

On June 25th, 2015, during the annual meeting of the French Sarcoma Group in Bordeaux, Laurence Bianchini and Florence Pedeutour received a price from the "Info-Sarcomes Association" (President Mrs Estelle Lecointe) for their research project : "La voie de signalisation cellulaire FGF/FGFR : une nouvelle cible thérapeutique dans les liposarcomes dédifférencés". All informations are available on


* The french magazine "La Recherche" published in June 2015 a report on young scientists "under 40 and representing the scientific future of the french research" (La Recherche, N° 500, Juin 2015). Among these scientists, Gaël Cristofari, Team leader at the IRCAN Institute, was cited.

* Mrs Marilena Lupu-Plesu, Marie-Curie Fellow in the team of Gilles Pagès, is in charge of the FP7 Marie-Curie VELYMPH project from the  European Commission :

“Investigation of VEGF-C involvement in the acquired metastatic properties of renal cell carcinoma following anti-angiogenesis treatments”

(Jan 2015 - Dec 2016). More details  

*  Pr Paul Hofman's Team published in Plos One (Oct 31st, 2014) an new technique permitting early diagnosis of  lung cancer :

"Sentinel circulating tumor cells allow early diagnosis of lung cancer in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease".

Authors : M Ilie, V Hofman, E Long-Mira, E Selva, JM Vignaud, B Padovani, J Mouroux, CH Marquette, P Hofman.

* Pr Eric Gilson's Team published on Oct  23rd, 2014, in Cell Reports an outstanding

discovery  :

"The telomeric protein TRF2 regulates angiogenesis by binding and activating the PDGFR-beta promoter".

Authors : M El Maï, K-D Wagner, J-F Michiels, D Ambrosetti, A Borderie, S Destree, V Renault, N Djerbi, M-J Giraud-Panis, E Gilson, N Wagner.


* June 4th, 2015.  DuPont Awards Early Career Grants to Nine Promising University

Research Leaders : Gianni Liti, Chargé de Recherche CNRS and Team Leader at the

IRCAN received the "Dupont Young Professor Award" More Details

Amine Belaid, from the IRCAN Paul Hofman's team, received a price from the PhD Student School of the Nice University for the best thesis realized in 2013. Title : "SQSTM1, une plateforme de signalisation clé contrôlant l'autophagie sélective jusqu'à la reprogrammation tumorale", Director of the thesis : Dr Baharia Mograbi.

Nice, September 2014