Cancer Initiative at the Institut Pasteur

The Cancer Initiative is a concerted action by Institut Pasteur laboratories working on cancer. It aims to build and support research on cancer by fostering a multidisciplinary and translational approach that combines cell, molecular and structural biology, genetics, developmental and stem cell biology, microbiology, virology, infection biology, immunology, chemistry and computational biology.


With over 18 million new cases in 2018 worldwide, including 400,000 in France, cancer is a common disease that affects, or will affect, all of us either directly or indirectly. Cancer is a serious disease. It is one of the main causes of death worldwide and was responsible for 9.6 million deaths in 2018. It has been the leading cause of death in France since 2004 and has claimed the life of more than one in four people. Despite the progress made in cancer treatment over the last thirty years, the number of deaths due to the disease has not fallen significantly because of the ever-growing number of new cases diagnosed each year. Furthermore, current treatments are particularly long and costly and have a major economic impact. Over $1,000 billion are spent on treatment and support for patients every year. In France, €2 billion are spent on anti-cancer molecules and another €6 billion on hospital costs. Patients are often not permanently cured, and people who have already had the disease have a high risk of developing cancer again. It is crucial to improve existing treatments and develop innovative strategies to treat patients more rapidly, in better conditions, and cure them once and for all. It is essential to prevent the disease by identifying and reducing the risk factors.


Sandrine Etienne-Manneville, Head of Cell Polarity, Migration And Cancer​ Unit

Ludovic Deriano, Head of Genome integrity, Immunity and Cancer​ Unit

The Institut Pasteur is working in three main areas


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