Norlux Neuro-Oncology Laboratory

Competences

Main axes of research

The aim of the research unit is to understand the biological mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of malignant gliomas and to identify new molecular targets against brain tumours. Based on patient tumour material, the laboratory has developed appropriate animal models to study glioma development in vivo. Using these models we address the identity of cancer-initiating cells, tumour-host interaction, angiogenesis and tumour cell metabolism. We also apply cell micro-encapsulation technology for the delivery of therapeutic proteins in brain diseases.

Current research projects

Cancer Stem Cells: Recently, stem-like cancer cells in tumours including malignant glioma were studied. We identify such cells in glioblastoma and characterise them functionally and phenotypically. Using glioma xenografts in GFP-expressing immunodeficient mice, we separate tumour cells from the host cell compartment and characterise subpopulations of cancer cells. The aim is to identify molecular processes involved in tumour initiation and characterise key molecules involved in tumour-host interactions.

Cell Encapsulation: The limited passage of drugs through the blood brain barrier and the short half-life of locally injected therapeutic molecules are hurdles for efficient delivery of therapeutic compounds to the diseased brain. Cell-based delivery systems provide continuous delivery of the biologically active compound in situ. We apply cell encapsulation technology to deliver growth-inhibitory and anti-angiogenic proteins in tumour-bearing mice.

Novel Molecular Targets: Glioblastoma is a heterogeneous cancer at the genetic and phenotypic level, with implications for the design of novel therapeutic strategies. We apply high throughput screening methods to identify novel molecular targets against malignant glioma.

Glioma Angiogenesis: Glioblastoma is a vascularised tumour. Its aggressive growth depends on the supply of nutrients and oxygen from newly generated blood vessels. Therapeutic strategies based on anti-angiogenic properties emerged, but such treatment may enhance the invasive properties of tumour cells. We investigate the effects of anti-VEGF treatment in a highly angiogenic glioma model.

Resources and collaborations

Equipment

  • Inverted fluorescence and stereo-fluorescence microscopes
  • Imaging in vitro (Cell IQ) and in vivo (bioluminescence imaging system)
  • Paraffin-embedding station
  • Cryotome and microtome (frozen and paraffin-embedded tissue sections)
  • Proteomic analysis (WB, 2D gels, iTRAQ peptide labeling and separation)
  • SPF Animal facility
  • Stereotaxic instruments for neurosurgery

Products and services

  • Animal models for cancer studies
  • Flowcytometric characterisation of cells
  • Genomic tumour analyses (promoter methylation, sequencing, aCGH)
  • Practical trainings for animal experimentation

Major partnerships and collaborations

National: Centre Hospitalier Luxembourg (CHL); CRP-Santé: Microarray Centre, Flow Cytometry, Luxembourg Clinical Proteomics (LCP); University of Luxembourg; Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL)

International: University of Bergen (NO); University of Umeå (SE);Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Phoenix, Arizona (US); University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, Texas (US); Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine (INPL), Nancy (FR); Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences, Amsterdam (NL); University of Groningen, Medical Biology, Groningen (NL); Vrije Universiteit (VU) Cancer Centre, Amsterdam (NL)

Angiotargeting Consortium, EU Integrated Project 6th FP (11 partners). Website: www.uib.no/med/angiotargeting

COST Action 865: Bioencapsulation multiscale interaction analysis (FR). Website: http://cost865.bioencapsulation.net

Human resources

  • 5 Researchers (Prof., ass. Prof., Post-docs, PhD)
  • 5 Doctoral students and students
  • 0 Engineers
  • 3 Technicians
  • 0 Other

Business sector(s)

  • Life Sciences, health and biotechnology

Contact

Norlux Neuro-Oncology Laboratory
84, Val Fleuri, L-1526 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: +352 26 97 02 73
Fax: +352 26 97 03 90
Email: simone.niclou@lih.lu
Site: http://www.norlux.lu

R&D Contact

PhD NICLOU Simone
Head of Research Unit
Phone: +352 26 97 02 73
Email: simone.niclou@lih.lu

R&D Contact

Prof. BJERKVIG Rolf
Associate Head and Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway
Phone: +352 26 97 02 73
Email: rolf.bjerkvig@biomed.uib.no

  • Updated 29-06-2015