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Founders and Partners

The regional Léon Bérard Centre

 The Léon Bérard Centre is exclusively dedicated to combating cancer and provides care and education, and performs research.

The Léon Bérard Centre is strongly involved in research to transfer the discoveries made into applications that can be used to cure patients.

Based in Lyon, it plays a regional role. A remedial centre with expertise in oncology, it also accommodates patients that come from all over France and abroad.

The Léon Bérard Centre in figures:

  • More than  25,000 persons followed up a year
  • About 1,500 employees – a total of 2,000 people work on the site.

The Centres de Lutte Contre le Cancer (Anti-Cancer Centres) are non-profit private health establishments that operate like university hospitals and participate in the French public hospital service.

They are grouped together in the health cooperation group UNICANCER which:

  • federates the 18 anti-cancer centres (20 sites) located in France;
  • strives constantly to increase the quality and accessibility of care;
  • exploits the organisational model developed for oncology;
  • pools the resources and competences of the centres in order to provide new dynamics for patient management.


The Hospices Civils de Lyon  

The Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) are public health establishments and form the second largest university hospital in France (CHU). They currently group 14 multidisciplinary or specialised establishments that carry out important missions:


From neighbourhood care to primary healthcare, the HCL make available their sites to every medical and surgical discipline.

They now form the leading regional cancer diagnostics and treatment centre, with dedicated teams and facilities in the main establishments.

Research and innovation:

The hospital teams perform a large number of clinical research programs in collaboration with different partners.

More than 300 new clinical tests are preformed every year; 38 oncological studies are in now progress (in 2103).

  • Training: 3,000 professionals are trained every year in HCL’s medical and pharmaceutical faculties, schools and institutes.
  • Prevention and education: the teams are mobilised to start or relay campaigns to promote public health, screening, prevention and therapeutic education.

A genuine centre of competences, the Hospices Civils de Lyon can call on a wide range of human technical and logistic resources to carry out these missions.

More than 22,000 professionals equipped with the most advanced equipment are committed to serving the health service every day.


Inserm: Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (National institute of health and medical research)

Founded in 1964, the National Institute of Health and Medical Research is a public scientific and technological establishment placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Research.

The INSERM is the only French public research organisation dedicated exclusively to human health. In 2008 it was entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the strategic, scientific and operational coordination of biomedical research. It was an obvious choice for fulfilling this central role as coordinator due to the quality of the scientific work accomplished by its teams and its capacity to ensure translational research, from the laboratory to the patient’s bed.

To fulfil its missions, the INSERM was conceived from the outset to work in close partnership with other public and private research establishments, and with hospitals where therapies are applied. Today, 80 % of the 289 research units are installed in university hospitals and anti-cancer centres. The CNRS research campuses, as well as those of the Pasteur and Curie Institutes, also accommodate the INSERM’s research facilities. Universities, now placed at the centre of the research system by the law on university autonomy, are also privileged partners.

Dominique Pella is the Regional Manager of the INSERM Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne. He represents the National Director of the INSERM and of the Institute in the region, and all the regional public and private partners.

He is in charge of the devolved regional administration and utilises all the administrative and technical resources declared in the general interest for the benefit of all the structures and all the personnel pertaining to the INSERM.

He is also responsible for coordinating the scientific community.

Key figures for the Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne:

  • 127 research teams (2,500 employees including 900 INSERM employees);
  • budget de €90 M;
  • The main research themes are cancer, neurosciences, infectious diseases, nutrition and cardiology, genetics and bones;
  • partnerships: 4 university hospitals, 2 anti-cancer centres, 5 universities, 4 advanced schools and memberships of numerous foundations.


The Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1

The leading university in the region

The university is installed on 13 sites in the Rhône-Alpes Region (with a total built surface area of 443,000 m²) in Greater Lyon, Bourg-en-Bresse, Roanne and St-Etienne, and contributes efficiently to the development of the western part of the Rhône-Alpes Region. Its initiatives are supported by the region.

Research and education at the university are ensured by 2,630 teacher-researchers including 700 working in university hospitals, and 1,700 librarians, engineers, administrative staff, technical staff, manual workers and service staff (BIATOS). Thus the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 is one of the largest public employers in the region.

A university open to the outside world

Every year the university welcomes about 39,000 students (nearly 20% come from the Rhône-Alpes Region), of which 51% are young women. Foreign students coming from 125 different countries make up 12% of this figure.

  • Nearly 80% of the students are enrolled in professional courses.
  • 9,250 degrees are awarded every year. The university provides training in the sectors of health, the different sciences and teaching skills.
  • About 350 PhD degrees are awarded every year.

Lastly, the university provides training to individual applicants and private companies in the framework of vocational training courses given to managers and technicians.

A university oriented towards innovation

The Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 is a multidisciplinary university whose research ranges from fundamental research to its applications (every year more than 4,500 articles are published in international journals and 40 patents are registered, making it France’s leading university for patent applications). It has 69 research units working in particular in health, the environment and materials.

A university recognised in France and abroad

The university is involved in more than 80 European projects. The research activities of its laboratories, funded by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche, participate in the Advanced Research Thematic Network “Theerapeutic innovations in infectious diseases”, the Thematic Research and Care Networks “NeuroCap”, “Centaure”, “Synergie Lyon Cancer” and the Institut Carnot I@L. In parallel, the university contributes its competences to the clusters “LYONBIOPOLE”, “MINALOGIC”, “AXELERA”, “Plastipolis “, “TECHTERA”, “SPORALTEC” and “Lyon Urban Truck & Bus 2015”.


The National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (Institut national du cancer) is a public health and science organisation responsible for coordinating actions in the fight against cancer. Created by the law on public health of 9 August 2004, it operates under the joint supervision of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

The National Cancer Institute is composed of a public consortium (GIP) that gathers the State, the main anti-cancer associations, the health insurance system, research organisations and hospital federations.

These actors share the aim of reducing the occurrence of avoidable cancers, reducing fatality due to cancer, improving the quality of life of cancer patients during and following their illness and reducing inequality in the face of cancer.

An integrated approach to accelerate progress

The National Cancer Institute provides an integrated view of every facet of the problem (health, scientific, social, economic) and fields of action (prevention, screening, care, research) linked to cancerous diseases.

It also aims to play a role in accelerating progress in the service of cancer patients, their families, the users of the health system, the general population, health professionals, researchers, experts and decision-makers.

The missions 

  • Coordinate actions in the fight against cancer;
  • Initiate and support medical, technological and organisational innovation;
  • Act in the organisation of screening, care and research;
  • Produce analyses in the form of national recommendations, reference frameworks, reports and opinions;
  • Produce, analyse and evaluate data in every area of oncology;
  • Promote the appropriation of knowledge and good practices by different sectors of the public.

The resources

The Institute’s management board is composed of representatives of the members of the consortium and eight qualified persons. It draws support from an international scientific board and three consultative bodies: an ethics committee, an audit committee and a committee of users and professionals.

The National Cancer Institute is endowed with an annual budget of about €100 million. A little more than half this budget is allocated to financing research. The rest of the budget is dedicated in particular to healthcare, public health and public information.

The INCa has about 150 employees and every year calls on several hundred external experts to help it in its work.

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Canceropole CLARA

(CLARA) or Cancer Cluster is an initiative launched and financed by the public authorities. It is part of the National Cancer Plans and is aimed at developing cancer research in the Rhône Alpes and Auvergne Regions. Over the last 10 years, it has federated academic, clinical and industrial actors in the two regions in the service of a regional, national and international anti-cancer strategy with a twofold aim: that of dynamising research and the development of innovations in oncology, and accelerating the transfer of discoveries to applications on patients.

In order to reach these objectives, the Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes organises its actions in three main directions:

  • assisting research against cancer, by promoting inter-regional scientific coordination and the development of collaborative projects of excellence;
  • financing research projects that are emerging (OncoStarter Program) or of a structural nature;
  • transferring academic research to clinical and industrial applications through CLARA’s Proof of Concept system.

Besides its commitment to break down the barriers between all the actors of research and foster collaboration between them, the Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes assists projects by providing services structured and implemented according to their needs. It also develops actions in favour of opening research to the human and social sciences and public health issues, thereby placing the patient at the heart of research.

The main missions of the Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes are to:

  • strengthen the mobilisation of research teams in the fight against social inequalities and define the risk factors linked to the environment and behaviours;
  • dynamise clinical research, focused in particular on the early stages of cancer;
  • promote the emergence of innovative projects;
  • participate in the dynamics of European cooperation;
  • contribute to making France an international reference in cancer research.



The National Centre of Scientific Research is a public research organisation operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. It produces knowledge that is then used to serve society. With nearly 34,000 employees and sites all over France, the CNRS has over 1,100 research units and services covering every scientific discipline.


CRCL (Cancer Research Center of Lyon)

The Cancer Research Centre of Lyon (CRCL, UMR Inserm 1052 CNRS 5286 - CLB) is a research structure labelled by the Université Lyon 1, the CNRS and the Léon Bérard Centre (CLB) and works in partnership at hospital level with the Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL). The CRCL opened its doors in January 2011, following its positive evaluation by the Research and Higher Education Evaluation Agency (AERES) in January 2010.

The CRCL is composed of 19 research teams, with 400 employees including 110 researchers and teacher researchers. Its objective is to increase international recognition and the attraction of our site, facilitate the transfer of knowledge to clinical and industrial applications, and develop education and training.

CRCL is structured in three scientific departments, working in three priority directions of research:

  • Cancer escape (Manager: Patrick Mehlen, Deputy Manager: Jean-Yves Scoazec)
  • Flows of information in cancer cells (Manager: Gilles Thomas, Deputy Manager: Didier Auboeuf)
  • Immunity, Microenvironment, Viruses (Joint Managers: Christophe Caux & Fabien Zoulim).

The teams at CRCL can rely on leading edge equipment (cellular sorting and cytometry facility, microscopy, L3 laboratories, tumour model laboratory, associated technological facilities at the east Lyon site) and joint services (administrative management unit, washing, etc.) to assist their projects.

One of CRCL’s ambitions is to support the development of vigorous translational research, in the service of cancer patients. This transfer of knowledge is ensured by strong commitment of the clinical doctors and pathologists of the Léon Bérard Centre and the Hospices Civils de Lyon within the scientific teams, leading to the creation of a genuine continuum between fundamental research and clinical applications.

Lastly, CRCL’s teams are involved in the Laboratory of Excellence (LabEx) DEVweCAN "Cancer, Development, Targeted Therapies" for which the project was selected in 2011 in the framework of calls for “Investment for the Future” projects (Man. Patrick Mehlen). In addition, CRCL’s teams are also closely associated with the integrated cancer research site LYRIC (Director Jean-Yves Blay), which was evaluated positively in 2011 in the framework of the call for offers, INCa 2010 SIRIC ("Integrated Cancer Research Site") of the Cancer Plan II. CRCL’s teams are also involved in local and regional oncology networks: the Cancéropôle CLARA and the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation.



2013-2018, strategy 3.0 of Lyonbiopôle

For the next 5 years, Lyonbiopôle, the only health cluster classed as highly efficient*, aims to position itself as leader in the health sector in the Rhône-Alpes by progressively expanding its field of action to new areas of health in order to overcome major challenges for the benefit of patients.

The cluster can expand its themes of research and form closer relations with academic and clinical research, by relying on its industrial leadership, and strengthening its entrepreneurial dynamism and proven knowhow in the area of human and animal infectious diseases and cancers.

Lyonbiopôle’s objective is therefore to support the innovation of products, services and uses for medicine personalised for the benefit of patients.

All the actions deployed by the pole in phase 3.0 will be formulated, developed and performed to the benefit of SMBs in the Rhône Alpes Région, to help them increase their growth, competiveness and develop the scientific attractiveness of the region and its competences in the health sector.


*during the evaluation of clusters in 2012

LYric (LYon Research Innovation in Cancer)

is the name given to the integrated cancer research site in Lyon, and it is one of the first two SIRICs to have been labelled by the INCa in June 2011, following a call for projects launched in 2010

It is driven by the Léon Bérard Centre and the Hospices Civils de Lyon grouped in the health cooperation consortium “Lyon Cancérologie Universitaire” (GCS-LCU).

Lyric’s research is structured around three research programs.

Two programs stem from the CRCL and one research program is run jointly with the team of M. Rivoire of the Institute of Experimental Surgery at LabTAU, and the team of D. Sarrut for the Creatis Laboratory (CNRS UMR 5220 – INSERM U1044 – Université Lyon 1).

  • Program 1 : The signalling pathways of embryonic development in cancer cells (study of anomalies inside cells)
  • Program 2 : Immunosurveillance of cancers and cancer escape: from concepts to therapeutic applications (understanding immune phenomena linked to cancers)
  • Program 3 : Targeting of macroscopic cancers in vivo: local treatment assisted by imaging.

These programs converge towards the global objective of LYric: the development of personalised medicine by implementing targeted therapies.

The support of the Foundation: The Bioinformatics centre of the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation provides its unique expertise to the development of Lyric’s programs. More specifically, it focuses on structuring and analysing clinical-biological databases compiled by the clinical studies performed by LYric.

In addition, the personnel of LYric has been seconded to this centre, placed under the responsibility of the Director, Professor Gilles Thomas.

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