On the level of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the Oncosphère project is based on five themes developed on the sites in Bordeaux, Limoges, Poitiers, La Rochelle and Pau:
- Translational and Fundamental Oncogenesis
- Tumor Microenvironment
- Technological Innovations
The research projects conducted in connection with those five themes fall within 3 areas: Translational Research, Fundamental Research and Technology for Oncology.
Area 1 : Fundamental Research
This area is based on strong fundamental research exploring the basic mechanisms of healthy cells: how cells divide, how they regulate their metabolism, how they respond to aging and what the mechanisms of cell death are, etc., using a highly varied group of experimental models ranging from unicellular eukaryotes, such as yeasts, to murine and human models, and including small animals such as flies, worms or zebrafish. This research will serve as a basis for understanding how a healthy cell becomes cancerous and especially the molecular basis of oncogenesis, the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastatic dissemination, the signalling pathways involved, metabolic modifications, the role of the microenvironment, the role of the immune system and the biology of cancer stem cells (CSCs).
Area 2: Translational research
This area is aimed at identifying new therapeutic targets, deciphering the mechanisms of drug resistance and developing new therapeutic and diagnostic tools through translational research strongly linked to clinical situations. This research will use cell and animal models of cancer as well as human tissues from tumor banks.
This area will also include research in epidemiology and public health, particularly in an environmental context, as well as human and social sciences, especially including the assessment of scientific innovation, support to children and young adults, and the determining factors in decision-making.
Area 3: Technology for Oncology
In order to improve early diagnosis of cancer and offer a therapeutic arsenal more adapted to each patient, technological developments are crucial. This area will propose diversified technological research based on a wide range of hard sciences such as math, physics, chemistry, optics and bio-statistics, etc. It will work in close cooperation with biologists and will develop new tools to optimise diagnosis, better define prognosis and improve therapies by making them not only more targeted but also more individualised.
Joint projects within the five regional themes (translational and fundamental oncogenesis, tumor microenvironment, technological innovation, ageing and environment) will be carried out in conjunction with the other research teams in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, whether in Limoges, Poitiers, La Rochelle or Pau and whatever the field.