Etienne Meylan's group shares in award-winning project with CHUV

Etienne Meylan. Credit: E. Meylan (EPFL)

Etienne Meylan. Credit: E. Meylan (EPFL)

A thoracic surgery project by CHUV has been awarded the Grillo Prize from the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The project was a collaboration with a PhD student from Etienne Meylan’s group at EPFL.

The European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) is an organization of more than 1200 members from 70 different countries across the entire world. Its origins trace back to the late 70’s, when the Society was formed under various different names and iterations. Today, it has grown into a major thoracic surgery network with a large annual conference and multiple awards and prizes.

The ESTS Grillo Prize has been awarded every year since 2009 to recognize translational experimental innovation in the field of thoracic surgery. This year, the Prize has been won by a collaborative project between the groups of Dr Jean Yannis Perentes at CHUV’s Thoracic Surgery Department and Professor Etienne Meylan at EPFL’s Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC).

In collaboration with PhD student Aspasia Gkasti at Meylan's group, postdoc Sabrina Cavin at Perentes’ group developed a pre-treatment with low-dose photodynamic therapy that enhances the immune response against pleural malignant mesothelioma.

Yannis Perentes, Sabrina Cavin, Aspasia Gkasti, and Etienne Meylan. Credit: UniL

Combined with immunotherapy treatment, the method was shown to provide better tumor control in an experimental mouse model. Cavin established that photodynamic therapy recruits more cytotoxic T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells, which are essential for mounting an effective immune response.

“This is a good example of collaboration between clinician and researcher,” says Etienne Meylan. “It showcases the impact of our innovative approaches to both patients and translational medicine in general.”

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