The researchers of the GIGA-Cancer are studying molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in cancer genesis, cancer progression and metastatic dissemination.
They are exploring the functions of novel regulators of different steps of cancer growth and invasion. A special emphasis is given on the identification of predictive, prognostic and diagnostic markers of cancers with putative interest to develop personalized treatments or overcome tumor resistance or adaptation to therapies currently used in clinic. With this aim advanced epigenetic, genomic, proteomic and metabolomic technologies are applied to human samples or sophisticated in vitro and in vivo models.
To achieve their goals, the GIGA-cancer researchers have developed close collaborations with clinicians in departments of the University Hospital (CHU of Liege). These experimental and translational approaches allow an in-depth investigation of intrinsic features of primary tumor cells, metastatic tumor cells and circulating tumor cells (CTC).
In addition, the complex interactions occurring between cancer cells and their molecular and cellular environments are studied with a special focus on extracellular matrix, immune cells, inflammatory cells and endothelial cells of blood or lymphatic vessels. In order to get new insights into abnormal tissue remodeling, impaired vessel functions and excessive inflammation, the URT members are also investigating other disorders sharing these abnormal features such as ocular diseases, lung inflammatory disorders, preeclampsia, endometriosis and embryonic implantation.
The ultimate goal of the URT is to develop safer and more efficient treatments with a specific interest in developing a personalized medicine.
Akeila Bellahcène, who co-directs the Metastases Research Laboratory with Vincent Castronovo, has been elected president of the Belgian Association for the Study of Cancer (ABEC). This appointment is also an opportunity to honor all the researchers of the GIGA-Cancer unit and more broadly all those working on topics related to cancer. Congratulations to her!