Integrated Plaform “Biology”

Coordination: Yvan Delaunoit – CNRS UMR 8161, Director of the Lille Biology Institute

ONCOLille’s Biology platform has broad-ranging areas of expertise. It provides support to research programmes, and facilitates the interface between researchers at ONCOLille and 5 technical platforms which enable priority access to very high-performance analysis methods for tumour cells and tumour samples.

Tumours Bank (Marie-Christine Copin, Lille CHRU) and Tumour Genetics (Nicole Porchet, Lille CHRU)

Located in the biological resources centre of the Lille CHRU, and forming part of a network with 28 other national platforms, these two services are devoted exclusively to cancerology. Also, all the ONCOLille research projects have direct access to it.

  • The Lille Tumours Bank or “Tumours Library”, which is one of the largest ones in France, is a structure shared by the Lille CHRU and the Oscar Lambret Centre. It organises the handling, histological and biological classification and then the cryo-preservation of tumour cells (malign blood diseases), tumour tissues, and also of healthy tissues suitable for molecular studies relating to DNA, RNA and proteins.
    These samples, with the patients’ approval, are then made available for clinical and research purposes upon approval from the Tumour Library’s scientific committee. The majority of the projects under way within ONCOLille make use of samples and genetic data relating to tumours preserved by the Tumours Library. The library also centralises the clinical and histological information required for relevant interpretation of the biological data obtained under the framework of research projects.


  • The Tumours Genetics platform is a platform set up in order to carry out analyses of predictive markers of certain tumours with a view to selecting the most suitable therapeutic strategy for patients or markers for diagnostic purposes and for monitoring the disease. In 2013 and 2014, over 25,000 analyses were carried out in the field of haematology, and solid tumours from 3,600 patients were analysed in 2013.
    In association with the Tumours Library and the Functional Genomics platform, this platform is involved in ambitious research projects for developing new predictive molecular tests and new markers for the prognosis of malign tumours.

Functional and Structural Genomics platform (Dr. Martin Figeac, IRCL)

Over 80 % of its activities are devoted to identifying genetic and genome damage in haematopoietic tumours (Dormancy Orientation) and solid tumours (Resistance Orientation). Thirty or so ONCOLille research projects benefit from the services of the genomics platform.

Proteomics platform (Christian Rolando, University of Lille 1)

Approximately 20 % of its time is devoted to oncology projects. With an IBISA (Biology, Health & Agronomy Infrastructures) quality label providing testimony to its excellence, quite often it is a central factor in resolving ONCOLille’s specific scientific issues through very precise identification of the proteins (4,000 proteins, 20,000 peptides) present in tumours. It is also capable of identifying particular modifications to molecules (deamination, oxidation, phosphorylation, etc.) which is crucial for understanding pathological mechanisms within tumour cells.

“Peptides Chemistry” platform (Oleg Melnyk, IBL)

Approximately 40 % of its activities are devoted to research projects in the field of cancerology (most of which are linked to ONCOLille’s activities). Bolstered by its expertise in the chemistry of peptides, this platform works in association with certain ONCOLille projects on the development of specific inhibitors of receptors and enzymes involved in the tumour process.

Development of new activities

With ONCOLille’s support, new pieces of equipment have been acquired in order to reinforce certain platforms such as Functional and Structural Genomics through, for example, purchasing an Ion Proton high-throughput sequencer, which is essential for the two orientations’ projects.

Four design and research engineers have been assigned the mission of developing new activities within this Biology platform directly linked to ONCOLille’s research programmes:

  • “Drawing up cell models of tumour dormancy”
  • “Targeting dormant tumour cells”: this extremely sensitive screening platform is for identifying active molecules.
  • “Hypoxy in the development of tumours”: An increasingly crucial issue in cancerology.
  • “Gastric cancer study”; gastric cancer is a type of cancer with a very high regional incidence.

This strategy, involving direct integration of engineers into the research teams, offers very high added value for technological developments.


Prof. Yvan Delaunoit, the coordinator of the Biology platform