Check out the news from the PEDIAC program: events, scientific progress, talks, public conferences etc…

Aflatoxin B1 and Epstein–Barr virus-induced CCL22 expression stimulates B cell infection

April 4, 2024

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infects more than 90% of the adult population worldwide. EBV infection is associated with Burkitt lymphoma (BL) though alone is not sufficient to induce carcinogenesis implying the involvement of co-factors. BL is endemic in African regions faced with mycotoxins exposure. The Z. Herceg’s team demonstrated that the exposure to mycotoxins and oncogenic viruses has been shown to increase cancer risks partly through the deregulation of the immune response.

Symposium on pediatric cancers from May 29 th-31 th

January 23, 2024

Join us for the symposium “Pediatric cancers: from origins and causes to therapeutic perspectives” on May 29 th to 31 st in Paris. The symposium will address several areas of cancer research, including epidemiological and genetic risk factors, the role of ontogeny in tumor initiation, the development of precise and complex biological models of tumor initiation, and novel therapeutic perspectives.

To present your unpublished work in the symposium : submit an abstract before March 12th, 2024 by e-mail:

Integrative analysis of neuroblastoma by single-cell RNA sequencing identifies the NECTIN2-TIGIT axis as a target for immunotherapy

December 27, 2023

Pediatric patients with high-risk neuroblastoma have poor survival rates and urgently need more effective treatment options with less side effects. Since novel and improved immunotherapies may fill this need, I. Janoueix’s team and al, dissect the immunoregulatory interactions in neuroblastoma by single-cell RNA-sequencing of 24 tumors (10 pre- and 14 post-chemotherapy, including 5 pairs) to identify strategies for optimizing immunotherapy efficacy.

“Horizon 2030: pathways, ambitions and innovations

November 15, 2023

At the Unicancer Innovation Awards, the team led by M. Castets, Inserm research fellow and team leader at CLB, and C. Gallerne, React4Kids project leader, wins the “Coup de coeur du jury” prize for the Share4Kids project.

PEDIAC Scientific Committee – 3rd edition

November 9, 2023

The 3rd Scientific Committee of the PEDIAC program was held on November 8 and 9 at the Imagine Institute in Paris. All the project teams held important discussions to coordinate this vast effort to bring together epidemiology and experimental biology in the field of pediatric cancers.

Advances in research for a better cure – Journal Vaincre le cancer

October 30, 2023

The Journal “Vaincre le cancer” deciphers research advances in the treatment of pediatric cancers with Prof. V. Minard-Colin, pediatric oncologist, and Dr. T. Mercher, research director.

Residential proximity to vineyards and childhood cancer risk – GEOCAP 2006-2013

October 19, 2023

Exposure to pesticides is suspected of being a risk factor for several pediatric cancers, in particular acute leukemia (ALL). Most studies carried out in France and abroad have focused on the link between children’s risk of developing this disease and the mother’s use of pesticides at home, during and after pregnancy. The risk of environmental exposure to pesticides, due to geographical proximity to agricultural plots, has been less well documented.In order to advance knowledge on the subject, J. Clavel‘s EPICEA team has set up a study to assess the risk of LA in children living near vineyards, a crop subject to intensive pesticide use (cf. Mancini et al. 2023, Inserm Press Release). This study is part of the GEOCAP (geolocalization of pediatric cancers) research program on the role of environmental factors in pediatric cancers.

React4Kids network’s “Understanding for Care” conference in Marseille

October 12, 2023

The congress organized by the React4Kids network brought together over 110 researchers to share the latest advances in research and strengthen their collaborations. PEDIAC teams belonging to this network presented their work on pediatric cancers.

Symposium on environmental health disparities in childhood cancer in Houston

September 26, 2023

At the 4th Symposium on Environmental Health Disparities in Childhood Cancer, Z. Herceg presented his team’s recent work aimed at understanding the origins and causes of childhood cancer by investigating epigenetic changes associated with in utero exposure and childhood cancer risk in different populations.

Childhood cancers, spectacular advances in medicine

September 20, 2023

During International Pediatric Cancer Month, the “ Septembre en or” solidarity campaign raises awareness among the general public about pediatric cancers. Find an article on medical progress in the newspaper La Croix.

National information day on childhood and adolescent cancers and leukemias

September 16, 2023

The first general public day of mobilization and awareness on pediatric cancers, in collaboration with the SFCE, took place on Saturday September 16. This day allowed for exchanges between parent associations, doctors and researchers engaged in this fight.

Synthesized evidence for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

July 24, 2023

In a recent work, J. Schüz’s team evaluated the strength of evidence and magnitude of risk factors for childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) using relevant systematic reviews and pooled analyses. Joachim’s team also estimated the risk factor exposure prevalence data in the French population as an example of the relevance of the various risk factors. The team provides an update on some of these risk factors strengthening their earlier findings and further promote the prevention of childhood ALL.

PEDIAC researchers respond to parent/patient associations

June 14, 2023

The React4Kids network is organizing 4 evenings of videoconferences between researchers from the PEDIAC program and parent/patient associations, on June 19-20-21-22 from 8pm to 9:30pm.

Symposium Pediatric cancers, from causes to treatments

June 7, 2023

The PEDIAC program was presented at the “Pediatric cancers, from causes to treatments” symposium held at the Assemblée Nationale in Paris, on the occasion of the National Leukemia Days.

Reversible transitions between noradrenergic and mesenchymal tumor identities define cell plasticity in neuroblastoma

May 25, 2023

In addition to the mutations observed at the genetic level, other mechanisms related to the epigenetic states of tumour cells may be involved in tumor phenotype and response to treatment. In several neuroblastoma models, I. Janoueix-Lerosey’s team has documented spontaneous and reversible plasticity between NORadrenergic and MESenchymal identities, associated with epigenetic reprogramming. The data revealed that intrinsic factors and signals from the microenvironment dictate cellular identity in this paediatric cancer.

React4Kids Young Researchers Days

April 20, 2023

During the React4Kids National Network Young Researchers Days on 4 and 5 May 2023, T. Mercher will present his work on the role of ontogeny and transcriptional alterations in paediatric acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia. M. Castets will give an update on the Share4Kids database.

Seminar on epigenetics and environmental origins of pediatric cancers

April 3, 2023

During a seminar organized by The Environmental Health Solutions Seminar Series on Thursday, April 20,  Z. Herceg will present findings on epigenetics and environmental origins of pediatric cancers.

AACR congress

March 20, 2023

At the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting (from April, 14-19 in Orlando, Florida), Z. Herceg will present recent findings on the origins of childhood cancer.

Pollutants and pediatric cancers

March, 2023

Studying the possible causal link between pollutants and pediatric cancers, as underlined in this article of Reporterre, is indeed one of the research axes of the PEDIAC consortium, of which Marie Castets‘ team is a member. Establishing adequate models to specify the role of pollutants in the occurrence of cancers in children and young people is a key issue to define the causes of these diseases, in parallel with epidemiological studies. PEDIAC researchers are mobilized on this issue.

Long-term support from Ligue contre le cancer to PEDIAC teams 

February 28, 2023

The research projects of the PEDIAC teams are also supported by the Ligue contre le cancer, a major actor in pediatric cancer research. Here, the Ligue’s brochure “20 ans tout rond” highlights four PEDIAC teams.

Pediatric cancer: hope for better treatments for children with cancer

February 15, 2023

At the Lyon Cancer Center, M. Castets, a research fellow at Inserm, and her team are working to rethink therapeutic approaches for children. The first step is to better understand the mechanisms of resistance to treatment in young patients. This is the research focus of C. Savary, a post-doctoral researcher in M. Castets’ team.

Harnessing the MYB-dependent TAL1 5’super-enhancer for targeted therapy in T-ALL

February 3, 2023

The acquisition of genetic abnormalities leading to deregulation of oncogenes is the basis for cancer development. Some proto-oncogenes have several mechanisms of deregulation. In T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), in V. Asnafi‘s team, C. Smith showed that patients carrying 5’super-enhancer (5’SE) mutations of the TAL1 oncogene constitute a specific subgroup of patients with a poor prognosis, independently of the level of oncogene deregulation. Interestingly, this anomaly may serve as a therapeutic target for the molecule Mebendazole.

SFH 2023 Congress

February 3, 2023

On the occasion of the congress of the French Society of Hematology from March 29 to 31, V. Asnafi will present an extended classification of T lymphoblastic leukemias.

“Cancer is a strange biological object. It is observed in virtually the entire animal and plant kingdom, and is a common disease in humans. However, at the cellular level, it is an extremely rare phenomenon. – Olivier Delattre

January 9, 2023

Discover the portrait and the interview of O. Delattre who received the 2022 INSERM Grand Prize. This pediatrician and researcher at the Institut Curie works on childhood cancers and leads the team “Diversity and plasticity of childhood tumours” of which I. Janoueix-Lerosey is a member.

High caspase 3 and vulnerability to dual BCL2 family inhibition define ETO2::GLIS2 pediatric leukemia

December 30, 2022

Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia expressing the ETO2::GLIS2 fusion oncogene is associated with a poor prognosis. In a model of inducible ETO2::GLIS2 expression, the T. Mercher team demonstrates that induction of ETO2::GLIS2 leads to increased transcription and activation of CASP3 as well as cell death. In ETO2::GLIS2 leukemic cells, a strong expression of anti-apoptotic proteins of the BCL2 family (including BCL2, BCLxL, MCL1) is observed. Functional BH3-profiling analyses showed that these cells are dependent on BCL2 and MCL1. The team targeted the activity of these two proteins with two specific inhibitors and showed, in both cell lines in vitro and in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models in vivo, that combined treatment with both molecules is required to inhibit leukemic cell growth. This work was performed in collaboration with the CONECT-AML network led by Arnaud Petit (Hôpital Trousseau, Paris) and with the team of Patrick Auberger and Arnaud Petit (C3M, Nice).

The 2nd annual scientific committee

November 17-18, 2022

The 2nd annual scientific committee of the PEDIAC program gathered all the teams in the WHO in Lyon on November 17 and 18. All the teams presented the progress of the projects. We also discussed the priorities and perspectives for the future of the program.

7th International Workshop on the Causes of Childhood Leukemia

November 10, 2022

To advance research into the causes of childhood leukemia, the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) has organized a 7th international workshop to be held at Kolpinghaus in Munich, November 28-30, 2022. The BfS seeks to make the workshop discussions accessible to a broad interested public and the results of previous workshops have been published. The teams of J. Schüz, J. Clavel and T. Mercher will participate to present the PEDIAC program and their scientific advances.

Presentation of work on pediatric leukemia

October 27, 2022

During the CHO annual meeting (Giens, France), and the EHA Research Conference (Torre Normanna, Sicily) respectively, F. Boudia and K. Galant have presented the results of a close collaborative work between the teams of T. Mercher (INSERM-Gustave Roussy-Paris Saclay) and F. Pflumio (INSERM-CEA-Paris Saclay). Their work focus on the development of human cell-based models to study pediatric leukemias induced by the ETO2-GLIS2 fusion.
F. Boudia received one of the prize for the best oral presentations.

Parental occupational exposure to combustion products, metals, silica and asbestos and risk of childhood leukaemia: Findings from the Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia International Consortium (CLIC)

September 19, 2022

Parental occupational exposures around conception (father) or during pregnancy (mother) have been hypothesized as potential predisposing factors for childhood leukaemia. J. Schüz’s team investigated parental exposure to several known occupational carcinogens and childhood leukaemia risk.

Metabolism, hematopoietic development and splicing

September 14, 2022

The CHO (Club for Hematopoiesis and Oncogenesis) congress will be held from October 12 to 15, 2022. Among the speakers, T. Mercher and V. Maguer Satta will speak to present their projects.

4th congress “Childhood cancers: understand to treat” – React4Kids

September 10, 2022

Don’t miss the symposium entitled “Childhood cancers: understand to treat” organized by the REACT-4Kids network from October 10 to 12, 2022 in Strasbourg. O. Ayrault (WP2 coordinator of the PEDIAC program) will present the consortium.

“Septembre en Or” dedicated to the fight against pediatric cancers

September 2, 2022

On the occasion of Septembre en or, a month dedicated to the support and the fight against pediatric cancers in the world, V. Maguer Satta (WP3 coordinator of the PEDIAC program) explains in an interview the stakes of the project.

Single-cell transcriptomics reveals shared immunosuppressive landscapes of mouse and human neuroblastoma

August 20, 2022

High-risk neuroblastoma is a pediatric cancer with still a dismal prognosis, despite multimodal and intensive therapies. Tumor microenvironment represents a key component of the tumor ecosystem the complexity of which has to be accurately understood to define selective targeting opportunities, including immunebased therapies.The works of I. Janoueix’s team provides a new and precious data resource to better understand the neuroblastoma ecosystem and suggest novel therapeutic strategies, targeting both tumor cells and components of the microenvironment.

Epstein-Barr Virus Genome Deletions in Epstein-Barr Virus-Positive T/NK Cell Lymphoproliferative Diseases

July 2, 2022

The main target cells for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and persistence are B lymphocytes, although T and NK cells could also be infected. The team of S. Latour in collaboration with the team of Paul Farrell (Imperial College London) characterized the EBV present in 21 pediatric and adult patients, treated in France for a serie of diseases leading to infection of T or NK cells called “Chronic active EBV” or CAEBV. In 30% of cases, the EBV genome has large deletions that are different from one patient to another located in the vicinity of the BART region. These deletions appear and are selected independently from patient to patient. These results support the role of these deletions in these atypical forms of EBV infection.

A new work on pediatric leukemias

June 14, 2022

A work between the teams of T. Mercher U1170 and I. Plo/H. Raslova U1287 on acute megakaryoblastic leukemia of Down syndrome.

More than 110 participants at the PEDIAC seminar on “Pesticides: exposures, metabolism and toxicology”

May 31, 2022

The scientific webinar on May 31, on the topic of pesticides welcomed over 110 participants! Find out more about the topics that were discussed.

Code Against Cancer

May 31, 2022

IARC scientists including Joachim Schuz, participate at the 1st Executive Meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Code against Cancer and are discussing scientific evidence with the goal of launching the Code on World Cancer Day 2023! The more exciting event will be the launch on World cancer day 2023.

Workshop “Pesticides: metabolism and toxicology”

March 22, 2022

Don’t miss the workshop on Tuesday, May 31 from 2 pm to 6 pm, which will focus on pesticides. Register for free to get the connecting link.

Visit of volunteers from the Aïda association to the Gustave Roussy Institute

February 16, 2022

Volunteers from the Aïda association visited the Thomas Mercher’s laboratory (Inserm U1170 Univ, Paris-Saclay, Gustave Roussy) to learn about cancer research. This association of volunteers is committed to young people affected by cancer. They participate in several missions such as helping patients, supporting research and science popularization.

WHO European report on inequalities in childhood cancer

February 15, 2022

On International Childhood Cancer Day, WHO Europe launched the report “Childhood cancer inequalities in the WHO European Region”. This report presents for the first time the evidence on child cancer inequalities in the region.  Joachim Schüz is part of the advisory group that supported this work.

Understand the origins of childhood cancers

February 15, 2022

On International Childhood Cancer Day, IARC presents a video explaining how their researchers are exploring avenues to “time travel” and study the origins of childhood cancers. More children die from childhood cancers than from any other disease. Understanding the causes of these cancers is essential to preventing them and finding cures.

Functional screening in ETO2-GLIS2 pediatric AML

February 10, 2022

Resulting from a collaboration between the teams of Julie Chaumeil (ATIP-Avenir, Institut Cochin), Thomas Mercher and Camille Lobry (Inserm U944, Institut Saint-Louis), this study reveals the importance of a functional module controlled by the ETO2-GLIS2 fusion oncogene, including two receptor tyrosine kinases mediating extracellular signals, in pediatric acute megakaryoblastic leukemia.

The research of Thomas Mercher’s team (Inserm U1170 Univ, Paris-Saclay, Gustave Roussy is supported by the Ligue since 2015.

PEDIAC scientific committee

November 26, 2021

The scientific committee of the PEDIAC programme met for the first time in Paris to discuss the progress of the project. PEDIAC is a consortium of 11 basic research teams and is funded by the French National Cancer Institute. The objective is to understand the causes and origins of cancer development at specific ages.

The challenges of the consortium, discussed in Hospimedia

September 13, 2021

Find out more about the challenges of the consortium in an interview with the scientific coordinator of PEDIAC program, in Hospimedia, an online media on health.

“Septembre en Or”

September 2021

On the occasion of Septembre en Or, the month dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer, discover the advances in pediatric oncology research at the Léon Bérard Center.

ISEH Congress

August 25 – 28, 2021

At the ISEH congress, Thomas Mercher will present approaches to modeling a fusion oncogene in pediatric leukemia.

Symposium on research by the INCa

June 16 – 18, 2021

Several members of PEDIAC participate in a symposium on fundamental research on pediatric cancers.

PEDIAC in the magazine Pharmaceutiques

June 3, 2021

Interview with the scientific coordinator of PEDIAC program in Pharmaceutiques, a professional magazine on overall ecosystem on health.

e-Colloque FAST

March 6, 2021

The PEDIAC program has been presented at the FAST Conference organized by Imagine For Margo.

Discover the PEDIAC teams