Rôle du microenvironnement tumoral et métastatique dans la progression du mélanome uvéal

 

Solange Landreville

Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement

 

Domaine : cancer

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2015-2016

Uveal melanoma is the most common eye tumor in adults. This cancer progresses to metastatic stage in about half of patients. The median survival rarely exceeds 2 years when metastases are discovered in the liver. Evolution of personalized medicine based on the analysis of the genetic information of an individual has made a leap forward for this cancer. A genetic test that can predict the risk of metastasis of a patient by analyzing the expression of 15 genes in the DNA of his ocular tumor is now available. However, there is currently no cure for metastatic uveal melanoma.

The cells located in a cancerous mass are not identical and this genetic diversity greatly influences the patient response to treatment. For decades, conventional anti-cancer treatments primarily targeting uveal melanoma tumor cells have been used without success. My previous work suggests that the cancer microenvironment promotes uveal melanoma progression and resistance to such treatments. My hypothesis is that this cancer spreading depends largely of diverse influences exerted by the surrounding host cells and the poor oxygenation of the microenvironment (i.e. hypoxia). My research work is aiming to improve our understanding of the process taking place when uveal melanoma produces metastases by remodeling its environment in order to develop a therapeutic strategy that will impede these interactions and extend the dormancy of liver metastases and patient's survival. The identification of metastatic uveal melanoma markers will allow predicting the effectiveness of a treatment using a biopsy of liver metastasis. The choice of an optimal therapy will increase the care performance and quality of life of patients suffering from this cancer.