Development of inhibitors for CUX1 and PARG, two novel therapeutic targets for hard-to-treat breast cancers

Challenge: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15 to 20 % of all breast cancer patients, but for about 25 % of all breast cancer deaths. There is currently no targeted treatment for TNBC, while only about 30 % of TNBCs are sensitive to conventional therapies. In addition, no more than 50 % of HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients respond … Read More


TRIple negative breast Cancer markers In liquid biopsies using Artificial intelligence (TRICIA study)

Challenge: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive form of breast cancer. Even in the early stages it is treated primarily by chemotherapy, often before surgery. The presence of remaining tumor after chemotherapy signals chemoresistance and poor prognosis resulting in the death of 30 to 40 % of patients with triple negative breast cancer within five years of … Read More


Integrating Tumour-Microenvironment Biomarkers to Improve Diagnostic and Facilitate Targeted Breast Cancer Therapy

Challenge: It has become increasingly clear that breast cancer progression, response to therapy and ultimately disease outcomes are determined not only by features of the tumour itself, but also by characteristics of, and interactions with the surrounding tissue, or stroma. Currently, stromal information is not used for patient stratification in clinical setting, trial design or retrospective analyses of drug efficacy … Read More


Development of a high throughput bioprinted 3D human tumor microenvironment assay that recreates immune “hot” and “cold” tumors

Challenge: Solid tumor growth is regulated by complex interactions of tumor cells with an assortment of adjacent non-malignant cells collectively referred to as the tumor microenvironment (TME). In “triple-negative breast cancer” (TNBC), which represents 15 to 20 % of all breast cancers, tumors can be characterized as “immune hot” or “immune cold” with respect to the level of infiltration of … Read More


Towards the Development of a New Class of Anti-GPCR Antibodies for the Treatment of Aggressive Cancers

Challenge: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent attractive biomarkers and therapeutic target classes in cancer research because their aberrant expression and activity are closely correlated with different stages of tumour initiation and progression. The development of small molecule anticancer drugs targeting GPCRs has so far proven to be quite challenging. Thus, there remains a need to identify new approaches to treating … Read More


Integrating Functional and Genomic Profiling for Optimal Combination Therapies for Cancer Patients

Challenge: In recent years, a growing number of cancer patients have been treated with therapies targeting specific genetic alterations present in their tumors. Generally, this is done in combination with traditional chemotherapeutic agents that represent the standard of care. However, a systematic analysis to identify the most appropriate combination of chemo and targeted therapy to which a patient will favorably … Read More


qTAP, a novel platform for personalized medicine in cancer

  Competition: CQDM / CIHR Program 2014 Funding: $1,030,000 / 2 years Beginning: July 2015 In the last decade, cancer genomics studies have led to the remarkable revelation that cancer is a much broader and complex disease then initially thought. In parallel, dramatic advances in our ability to design drugs against cancer have created an extensive toolbox of therapeutics. The use of … Read More


Plateforme pour l’enrichissement des cellules tumorales circulantes (CTC) pour la caractérisation et la sensibilité à des médicaments anticancéreux

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2012 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years (COMPLETED PROJECT) The major challenge in cancer therapy is to stop its progression to more advanced stages (metastasis) where the disease becomes resistant to most forms of therapeutic interventions. Understanding the mechanisms leading to metastasis is only beginning to emerge and is key to develop specific therapeutic interventions. Another complicating … Read More


Dimer Interference: A novel Approach to Develop Galectin-7-Specific Inhibitors to treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Challenge: Galectins are a family of lectin proteins implicated in tumor progression and immune evasion. When produced in excess by cancer cells, galectins can form homodimers and bind glycans on the surface of T cells. This suppresses the local and systemic immune response in patients, helping tumors to escape immune surveillance and limiting the efficacy of immuno-oncology treatments. To date, … Read More


Circumventing the need for predictive biomarkers in personalized ovarian cancer therapies: empirical chemosensitivity testing using a microfluidics-based multiplex platform

  Competition: EXPLORE Program 2012 Funding: $300,000 / 2 years Beginning: September 2014 (COMPLETED PROJECT) Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Only a portion of women diagnosed with this cancer will respond to conventional drugs, and alternative therapies only work in some cases. In order to better tailor treatment, personalized medicine has turned to ‘markers’ … Read More