Doctor Fabienne Gumy Pause studies the role of a tumor-suppressing gene called ATM (Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated) involved in a variety of childhood cancers. This research study was first carried out at the Laboratory of Oncology directed by Professor A.-P Sappino, at the University Medical Center (CMU), Geneva. By building a strong collaboration with the Children’s Oncology Group (USA) over several years, she was able to obtain a considerable amount of tumoral samples essential to this research. At first, her work focused on leukemia and lymphomas affecting children (mainly thanks to a donation in 1999 of the Foundation Dubois-Ferrière-Dinu Lipatti), then on neuroblastoma. Very recently, she managed to prove that the loss of the ATM gene occured frequently in the neuroblastoma, but more importantly, she proved that such a loss could be a life-threatening marker for bad prognosis. These results, which strongly suggest a role of the ATM gene in the biology of neuroblastoma, were recently presented at the Advanced Neuroblastoma Research Meeting (Stockholm, June 2010 and Toronto 2012). The long-term aim of this study is not only to adapt the treatment as soon as the diagnosis is established, according to the genotype of the tumor, but also to develop new therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Marc Ansari carried out studies in pediatric oncogenetics at the Hospital St Justine (Montreal, Canada) between 2004 and september 2007, thanks to the financial support of the Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique. After joining the team at St Justine in october 2007, he continued his research on the polymorphism of certain genes involved in the metabolism of Busulfan, the main chemotherapeutic agent used in the case of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. He proved that certains genes that control the enzymes involved in the metabolism of Busulfan, which differ from one individual to another (genetic polymorphism), are responsible for the efficiency and the toxicity of that agent. This study reveals the possibility of adapting the dose of a chemotherapy according to the genes, to decrease the toxicity and increase the outcome recovery of children with cancer. This project has been accepted as a multicentric study by the European Blood and Marrow Group (EBMT). This means that the centers associated with that organization will participate in this study, increasing the sample size for research which is necessary for obtaining clearer results. It is the first time that a study in pediatric oncology has been sponsored by the Swiss Pediatric Oncology Group and accepted as a EBMT study. The results obtained so far were presented in 2012 at the EBMT meeting (Geneva), the American Society of Hematology (Atlanta) as well as at the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (London).
The scientific projects led by Dr. Marc Ansari and Dresse Fabienne Gumy Pause have, amongst other, been achieved through financial support from the l’Association Hubert Gouin, Carigest SA, du Fonds National, de la Fondation Charles-Bruneau, de la Fondation Dubois-Ferrière Dinu Lipatti, de la Fondation Eugenio Litta, de la Fondation pour la lutte contre le cancer et pour des recherches médico-biologiques (Dr. Forni), de la Ligue Genevoise contre le Cancer et du Printemps des Enfants.
CANSEARCH is now an affiliated member to the ESPT (European Society of Pharmacogenomics and Personalised Therapy).
Dr. Marc Ansari is a board member since September 2014 and is responsible at the European level for the individualised therapy in both oncology and hematology.
This affiliation will enhance the visibility of the CANSEARCH Research Laboratory amongst European and International Research groups and reinforce the sharing of know how.