For decades, anti-cancer therapeutic strategies (including chemotherapy) mainly target tumor cells. Despite some effectiveness, relapse after treatment is common and it is well established that tumor progression is a multi-gene and multi-step process closely dependent on various influences from the tumor microenvironment.

The frequency of relapse after conventional treatment, and the discovery of cancer stem cells, initially in acute leukemia and in a large number of tumor types, lead medical and scientific community to recognize that the exclusive targeting of tumor cells is not sufficient. New approaches to specifically target various cells and components of the tumor microenvironment are under development.

Micronit federates in a national research network academic research teams (CNRS, INSERM and CEA) interrested  by the tumor microenvironment. The consortium includes 27 teams (17 in the GDR Micronit 2015/2018 and 10 associated teams) and covers the main hematological malignancies (myelodysplasia, acute leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, lymphomas, myelomas) and the majority of solid tumors (sarcomas, glioblastomas, hepatocellular carcinoma, breast cancers, prostate cancers , kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma).

Micronit groups medical skills as well as specific scientific and technological expertise (adhesion, angiogenesis, biomechanics, stem cells, stromal cells, domiciliation, hypoxia, imaging, inflammation, extracellular matrix, metabolism, 2D and 3D modeling, signaling) to optimize the French research on the following three axes:

• Axis #1 : " Structure of the niche : composition and cellular / molecular organisation "

• Axis #2 : " Dynamics of the interaction niche-tumor cells "

• Axis #3 : " Biomarkers and therapeutic targeting of tumor niches "

Micronit was created in january 2015 by the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) as the Research Group GDR 3697. Labelized for 4 years, Micronit recently asked for its renewal for the 2019/2022 period with 10 more research teams (currently named "Associated teams").