Cancéropôle Nord-Ouest Cancer and Cognition Platform

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Normandy research consortium on cognitive disorders induced by cancer treatment


Cancer and Cognition platform
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Cancer and Cognition platform
+33(0)2 31 45 50 02

The team

  • Head of department: Prof. Florence Joly
  • In charge of clinical expertise: Florence Joly (Inserm U1086), medical oncologist
  • In charge of neuropsychological expertise: Bénédicte Giffard (Inserm U1077), university lecturer in neuropsychology, Marie Lange (Inserm U1086), neuropsychologist
  • In charge of preclinical expertise: Hélène Castel (Inserm U1239), biologist-researcher
  • In charge of biostatistical expertise: Sophie Lefèvre-Arbogast (Inserm U1086), biostatistician
  • Platform coordination/management: Laure Tron (Inserm U1086), project manager
  • Hosting of post-doctoral / doctoral students and trainees
  • Involvement of engineers and technicians


Cognitive disorders represent one of the most frequently reported complaints from patients during or after cancer treatment. Patients complain essentially about difficulties associated with memory, thinking, concentrating or finding their words. These symptoms are reunited under the term ‘chemofog‘ or ‘chemobrain‘. Although generally mild to moderate, they can seriously impact patient quality of life, return to work, or even autonomy (in particular in elderly patients). Cognitive disorders induced by cancer treatment are most often transitory; however, in certain patients, they can persist several years after the end of treatment.

Created in 2015, the Cancer and Cognition platform is the product of a Normandy-based research consortium focusing on this issue since 2007 and reuniting members of several Inserm research units (U1086, U1077, U1239). It is coordinated by Prof. Florence Joly.

Since 2016, the platform is certified by the Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer.

The platform’s principal aim is to evaluate the impact of cancer (excluding the central nervous system) and its treatment on cognitive function via integrated, multidisciplinary and translational research, ranging from patients cared for in clinical settings to animal models, and relying on neuropsychology and neuroimaging. The platform’s mission is to implement studies enabling the identification of cognitive disorders in patients treated for cancer (depending on the cancer localisation, population specificities, type of treatment, etc.), in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms (animal models, neuroimaging, biomarker study) and to intiatiate intervention studies to help patients presenting with cognitive disorders. It offers its skills and services to academic or industrial teams wishing to initiate research on the theme.

To implement these studies and to support research in the field, the platform relies on 4 complementary fields of expertise:

  • clinical expertise
  • preclinical expertise (animal models and biomarker analysis)
  • neuropsychological expertise
  • and finally, biostatistical expertise


At regional level
  • Centre Henri Becquerel, Rouen
  • CHU university hospital, Caen
  • Inserm U1086, 1077 and 1239
At national level
  • several French CHU university hospitals and CLCC cancer centres,
  • oncology intergroups (Unicancer, Anocef/Onconeurotox, Grec-Onco, Dialog, GINECO, EANO, Lysa, SNLF etc.),
  • associations (Seintinelles, France Lymphome Espoir, Géfluc),
  • industrial partners (AstraZeneca, Astellas, Janssen, Bayer, Natsuca, Novartis, Sanofi, Roche),
  • platforms (Cyceron, CURB, Pissaro, Primacen, SCAC, Cancéropôle Nord-Ouest Data Management Centre, Cancéropôle Nord-Ouest tumour bank, PACAN)
At international level
  • Institut Jules Bordet,
  • Georgetown University/Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Centre,
  • task forces (ICCTF, EORTC)

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