Dynamics of epigenetic plasticity in breast cancer
The dynamics of epigenetic remodeling and its precise involvement in tumor progression remains unknown, mainly due to the lack of cellular and animal models, and the plastic nature of epigenetic mechanisms. In the lab, we develop in vitro and in vivo models to monitor multiple epigenetic remodeling events at the single–cell level to reveal their timing of occurrence, address their stability over time, how they relate to the cellular phenotype. Adding this innovative temporal component to the study of epigenetic alterations in cancer will refine their potential role in tumor progression and more accurately apprehend drug design. The team is focusing on the study of breast cancer, considering its high incidence (it is the most common cancer in women worldwide, 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year, representing 25% of all female cancers) and the frequent occurrence of epigenetic remodeling events in this tumor type. Thanks to collaborations with other groups at Institut Curie, we are working with a wide panel of models: breast cancer cell lines, patient-derived animal xenografts (PDX), tumor samples and mouse model of breast cancer.