The scientific objective of the IRON « Innovative Radiopharmaceuticals in Oncology and Neurology » Labex is to develop innovative radiopharmaceuticals and transfer them to the clinic for molecular imaging diagnosis (PET: Positron Emission Tomography) in neurology and oncology and targeted radionuclide therapy of cancer.
These radiopharmaceuticals will participate in the development of personalized medicine, to guide patients to appropriate targeted therapies or treat tumor disease refractory to conventional treatment.
To achieve this objective, the IRON Labex is based on:
- an ambitious cooperative translational research program in nuclear medicine,
- research teams with complementary areas of expertise, from innovative radionuclide production to clinical research, located in Angers, Caen, Orléans, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg, Toulouse, et Tours,
- a network of cyclotrons producing fluor-18 (Caen, Tours, Toulouse), but also innovative radionuclides for diagnostic applications (copper-64, scandium-44/44m, gallium-68, zirconium-89) and therapy (copper-67, scandium-47, astatine-211) (cyclotron Arronax in Nantes, cyclotron Cyrcé installed in 2013 in Strasbourg).
The first 8 years (2012-2019) of the Labex IRON reports:
– 229 international publications including:
- 81 cosigned with several IRON partners
- 59 cosigned with international authors
- 27 cosigned with industrials
– 1 international and 5 national publications in Human and Social Sciences
–1203 international communications
– 41 international academic collaborations
For the scientific program for the next 5 years (2020-2024), three major themes, driven by proofs of concept and technological breakthroughs obtained during the first period of the IRON Labex, have been identified. These themes represent major challenges in the context of stratified medicine in oncology and neurology.
- Risk based-therapy: define new prognostic/predictive biomarkers on PET imaging
- Theranostics: develop innovative radiopharmaceuticals for predictive imaging in order to select patients candidates for targeted therapies
- Combined therapies: especially using radionuclide therapy and immunotherapy
It is within this framework that the multidisciplinary IRON 2 scientific program was structured with 6 multi-partner Translational Projects (TP), to enhance synergy between partners already developed during the previous period of the IRON Labex. The 6 TP are based on 4 disciplinary Task Forces (TF) bringing together researchers in the same field but with complementary expertises. These TF have shown all their interest during the first 8 years of IRON Labex by sharing expertise between partners.