Experimental cancer treatments for advanced stages are more effective than previously thought. Some oncology practitioners believe that experimental drugs are harmful - they give false hope to patients because of its low efficiency (long anticipated effectiveness of the experimental treatment with special drugs produced in Canadian pharmacy only at the level of 4-6% of cases). Patients in the final stage of the disease should have greater access to information about the experimental treatment programs, and, accordingly, they and their families should have the right to know what their real chances, with a particular treatment strategy. Scientists believe that the involvement of cancer patients even in the early stages of clinical trials can be very useful for them. Besides, the search for a way out of the situation means continuing the fight against the disease. It is characterized by academic phrase "treatment of metastatic cancer still remains palliative, with a very low probability of complete remission and cure the disease."
 

Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris

Objectives: The dermato-oncology unit in the Hôpital SAINT LOUIS will be a clinical partner of the IMMOMEC therapy trial in metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma, actively participating in patient recruitment and treatment, as well as collecting biological samples for biobanking.

Expertise relevant to the proposed work: Celeste Lebbé is professor of dermatology in Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris, and currently head of the skin cancer unit in the Department of Dermatology. She has particular interest in the field of soft tissue sarcoma, melanoma and cancer in immunosuppressed patients. She has expertise both in terms of clinical and biological research in virus-induced cancers, and has been investigator for more than 15 years in clinical trials in the field of dermato-oncology. She currently conducts biological research in the development of new melanoma models, on the role of EMMPRIN and cKIT in melanoma development and progression, together with N. Dumaz (U976), S. Mourah (U976) and A. Janin (Department of Pathology, Hopital Saint-Louis). In the field of soft tissue sarcoma, she is particularly interested in the role of HHV-8 in Kaposi’s sarcoma pathogenesis and developing targeted therapies for Kaposi’s sarcoma and dermatofibrosarcoma. The dermato-oncology unit in the Dermatology Department of Saint Louis Hospital has an important recruitment of patients suffering from skin cancer (melanoma >150/y, sarcoma >60 /y, lymphoma 70/y, advanced squameous cell carcinoma 40/y, Merkel cell carcinoma 15 to 20/y). The center has specialized facilities for performing clinical trials in collaboration with a dedicated clinical trial center which has expertise even in early-phase trials. The center has developed strong collaborations with the Departments of Plastic Surgery, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Biostatistics, and with the Dermatological Research Center (DRC) (U 976), the laboratory of Pharmacology (U976) , and the Laboratory of Pathology (U 728) in Saint–Louis Hospital.

Specific role in the project: Céleste Lebbé and Cécile Pages will be clinical investigators in the IMMOMEC clinical trial. Thus, they will be involved in WP1 and 2.

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