The scientific objective of this project is to answer to two critical questions in translational oncology: resistance to loco-regional treatments and tumor dormancy. The path taken for this was to put in the same environment (one institute), clinicians, biologists, chemists, microtechnologists & HSS researchers, to develop together inter(pluri)disciplinary research programs.
In 2012, Lille was one of the eight sites selected by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa) as a «Comprehensive Cancer Center»: the SIRIC ONCOLille (http://www.oncolille.fr). The aim of the SIRIC project was to drive for 5 years interdisciplinary research programs in translational oncology. Hence, Lille has been chosen to develop two original projects on 1/ tumor resistance and 2/ tumor dormancy. A major asset for the success of ONCOLille was to benefit from the close connection to an academic hospital. In fact, the university hospital of Lille (CHRU) and the clinical cancer center of Lille (Centre Oscar Lambret : COL), which are located on the same campus and physically connected, attract a potential population of more than 5 million inhabitants. Due to new genomic sub-classifications of most of the cancer types, the great number of patients available is becoming a discriminant advantage to perform efficient clinical trials (academic or industrial). These clinical studies are conducted in close collaborations with academic research teams, which develop fundamental and translational research in oncology.
However, although the clinical research of Lille is concentrated on the hospital campus, fundamental and translational research is split on four campuses : the hospital campus, the Pasteur Institute of Lille campus, the Sciences & Technologies campus, and the Human & Social Sciences campus. Based for example on the development of the cancer research centers in Marseille and Lyon, the fundamental, translational and clinical oncology researchers wished to merge their teams in a same environment. This is the main reason why in 2014 Lille decided to apply to a 6 year call of proposal launched by the Hauts-de-France region and the French government : “the CPER” program. In 2015, this 35 M€ project was selected and financially supported by the University of Lille, the CHRU, the COL, Inserm, CNRS, the Lille cancer research foundation (IRCL), the Pasteur Institute of Lille, the French State, the Hauts-de-France region and the city of Lille (MEL).
Joining the cancer research forces in biology, health technologies, micro-technologies and human social sciences will then give birth to a unique multi-disciplinary center able to compete with the best institutes in the World. To differentiate, it will highlight among others:
Many teams of this project are already involved in national and European networks in biology (Marie Curie European Network “Ion Trac” 2012-2015 ; Labex « Therapeutic approaches in ion channels ; CIP European project : Phosistos, phosistos.com ; GDR Photomed : http://www.gdr-photomed.cict.fr/) or microtechnologies (EUJO-LIMMS : http://limmshp.iis.u- tokyo.ac.jp/about-the-laboratory/eujo-limms).
The creation of this interdisciplinary institute should offer the following positive benefits:
The teams listed below are invited to apply to join the future institute (teams web site and contacts are available here):
The future institute will be located between the CHRU and the COL, and will be physically connected to these two hospitals. It will be in very close vicinity to the other research centers, such as the JPARC and the European Genomics Institute for Diabetes (EGID). This location will thus permit intense interactions with other disciplines.
The project currently plans the following premises : 45% of laboratories and technical rooms, 35% of offices and related functions, and 20% of lobby and other shared premises. Technical and storage areas will be pooled in order to gain space for productive activity. The project will focus on creating, on the ground floor, reception areas for researchers and clinicians and promoting serendipity through connections between the reception hall, the cafeteria and the conference room. The layout of the offices and laboratories will also facilitate exchanges between teams and disciplines.
The building project is estimated worth 25 M€, which will be funded by the French Ministry of Education and Research (6.5 M€), the Hauts-de-France Region (5 M€), the University of Lille (5 M€), the CHRU (5 M€), Inserm (2.5 M€) and the “Métropole Européenne de Lille” (1 M€).
In 2016, a consulting office proposed the pre-project coordinated by the University of Lille. January the 27th, 2017, it was submitted and accepted by the participating institutions. After the selection of an architectural firm, the plans of this 7500 square meter building will be designed in 2017 in order to start its construction mid-2018. This should lead to an inauguration of the Institute beginning 2020.
The steering committee is composed of the representatives of the various institutions that finance the project. They will meet at least three times per year and will take all the decisions concerning the financing as well as the governance of the future institute.
The executive committee will follow the advancement of the scientific part of this project and will be at the interface between the researchers and the University of Lille for the optimization of the installation of the teams in the future institute. It is composed of :
In 2017 and 2018, this scientific advisory Board (SAB) will meet two times per year in order to offer to the future institute its great experience. It will also audition the pre-selected PI candidates, which will develop a topic in close collaboration with the current existing teams. The SAB is composed of the following members: