We have demonstrated in the past years that proliferation and invasion of slow-growing lesion such as diffuse low-grade glioma elicited functional brain reshaping, explaining why the patients with this kind of tumor had no or only slight neurological deficit, at least at time of diagnosis (made in more than 80% of cases because of inaugural seizures). Therefore, human brain plastic potential in adults was underestimated in the classical literature.
The adult nervous system maintains pools of immature cells called stem and progenitor cells. These cells can be scattered in the nervous parenchyma or situated in specific areas called niches. Two lines of research are developed in the lab regarding normal stem cells and tumoral stem cells.
Our team operates at the interface of chemistry and biology and pursues therapeutic innovation by identifying new anti-cancer targets as well as the development of new therapeutic compounds targeting either cell metabolism or cell invasion. At the present we focus on two families of compounds: the oxysterols, 7β-hydroxycholesterol and the phostines, a new family of compounds developed by our research consortium. These compounds are tested for antitumor activity and their mechanism of action are studied in in vitro and in vivo models of glioma. In that aim we have developed an innovative 3D culture system with biological properties that position it as relevant mechanistic tool to understand cancer cell invasion.