A ULB study shows that acting on the NR2F2 gene actually makes it possible to regress a malignant tumor. This reinforces the strategy of Professor Blanpain’s ChromaCure spin-off.

The work of the spin-off ChromaCure are going in the right direction. The latest discoveries in fundamental research from the professor’s laboratory Cédric Blanpain, director of the stem cells and cancer laboratory at the Free University of Brussels, show it. In the race to develop future cancer drugs, target NR2F2 gene is a good choice. The scientific article published this Monday in the journal Nature Cancer provides new evidence.


“By blocking the action of this gene on cell lines with a small molecule developed by one of our competitors, we limit tumor growth in skin cancer.”

Cédric Blanpain

Director of the Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory at ULB

“We already knew that the NR2F2 gene expressed itself differently in benign tumors and malignant tumors”, explains Cédric Blanpain, winner of the Francqui Prize last year and also co-founder of ChromaCure. “In two models, we had already noticed that by removing it, it blocked the transformation of the benign tumor into a malignant tumor. Conversely, when this gene was overexpressed, it made malignant tumors more aggressive. Our latest breakthrough, in basic research, shows thatby blocking the action of this gene on cell lines with a small molecule developed by one of our competitors, we effectively limited tumor growth in skin cancer. And this in humans as well as in mice. “

“It was very exciting to observe that the genetic or pharmacological inhibition of NR2F2 could cause such tumor regression or prevent progression to invasive malignant tumor states responsible for metastases,” commented Federico Mauri, the first author of this study.

In many cancers


“Acting on the NR2F2 gene makes it possible to massively reduce inflammation and reduce the proliferation of malignant cells.”

Cédric Blanpain

Director of the Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory at ULB

“This confirms that the NR2F2 target is very interesting. Especially since it is present in a large number of cancers”, continues Professor Blanpain. “Our experience shows thatacting on this gene can massively reduce inflammation, reduce the proliferation of malignant cells and increase tumor cell death. In short, everything we want to do in the context of the development of an anticancer drug. It is to discover other small molecules acting on this gene and its protein that we launched ChromaCure. We are clearly on the right track. “

After providing proof that by acting on this gene we could hope to fight cancer, the spin-off will continue to develop its own anti-NR2F2 molecules. It will then go further, by testing their effectiveness on various cancer cell lines, or on tumor samples from patients transplanted to mice, etc.

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