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Head of Multidisciplinary Oncology and Therapeutic Innovations at APHM | Coordinator of the Center of Early Phase Cancer Trials of Marseille CLIP2 | Professor of Medicine at Aix-Marseille University


In less than a decade, cancer diagnosis and treatment has progressed considerably. As in many other cancers, "histologic historical classification" of lung tumors into sub-types (squamous cell, adenocarcinoma, large or small carcinoma cells) was disrupted by the advent of molecular profiling. Today, more than a dozen forms of lung tumors have been identified based on molecular alterations leading to bio-guided treatments, marketed or under development, with a significant improvement in survival. Furthermore, by unlocking the immune system of patients, new immunotherapy antibodies have allowed spectacular survival rates in some advanced forms of cancer.

At this time, many of these drugs are still in the development phase. The first goal is to facilitate patient access to these new options. In response, we have created two APHM services exclusively dedicated to the early transfer of these innovations. Each year, over 600 patients with metastatic lung cancers access this type of treatments including over 200 in the context of trials investigating new drugs or new strategies, of which almost half currently based on immunotherapies. The second goal is obviously to optimize and accelerate the development of these innovations, particularly immunotherapies. To date, only about 20% patients respond to these treatments. With researchers and industrials, we are seeking ways to identify in advance those responders using biomarkers, understand the mechanisms of resistance to current treatments and test new therapeutic combinations able to circumvent these resistances.

At the interface of the laboratory and the patient's bed, these projects require expertise and interdisciplinarity, highlighted in the collective Marseille Immunopole. MI should enable us to accelerate discovery, enhance our treatment options and offer more innovative options to our patients through current clinical trials and those of the future.